Deep interest in exotic animals prompts 'Kakak Raptor' to open mobile petting zoo

05 May 2023 08:37am
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only. - FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - A deep interest in exotic animals since childhood and a desire to share knowledge about them with the public led this Digital Technology Diploma holder to open a mobile petting zoo.

Syazlin Hafisya Mohammad Hasni, 22, who lives in Kulim, Kedah, said the mobile mini zoo that she opened in 2016, has now become her source of income.

Currently, she has more than 40 exotic animals which she would bring for an exhibition including python, iguanas, African ground squirrels, sugar gliders, guinea pigs and scorpions and these animals are from Syazlin Hafisya's personal collection.

"I bought all these animals from pet shops nationwide at a price of around RM100 to RM10,000 and for now I am focusing full time on the mini zoo business and animal care.

"The fee is only RM5 per person and the purpose is to teach and educate the public about exotic animals,” she told Bernama recently.

According to Syazlin Hafisya, all the animals are kept in cages or aquariums inside the house, equipped with alarm systems and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to prevent unwanted incidents.

"I have never experienced theft, but there was a snake that was seriously injured after a visitor did not handle it carefully, causing it to suffer bone complications that required treatment costs of around RM2,000,” she said.

Popularly known as 'Kakak Raptor' on social media platforms, she said that for the time being, she only holds exhibitions if there are invitations such as at convocation ceremonies, school programmes or carnivals in Perak, Penang and Kedah.

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"I am focusing on the northern region because of the risk to animals if travelling for too long could cause them stress, illness or death," she said.

Sharing an interest with her father, Mohammad Hasni Hassan, 55, and mother, Salmiah Shaari, 48, the only child said her love for exotic animals arose from childhood after watching documentaries on television.

Syazlin Hafisya said the main challenge faced was the heat because most of the animals came from abroad and were less suited to the hot weather conditions in Malaysia, thus requiring her to think of various alternatives to control the temperature and humidity.

"For example, chinchillas, need a temperature below 26 degrees Celsius, so I put them in a room with air conditioning while for a chameleon, I need to control the humidity so that these animals don't get diseases such as respiratory infections,” she said.

Syazlin Hafisya said she has a licence and permit to keep and exhibit exotic animals from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan).

"A majority of exotic animals require a licence and the process to obtain one is very easy, just bring the purchase receipt and microchip to Perhilitan and it will be ready in just five minutes.

"I would like to tell the public not to believe rumours that say the Perhilitan is very difficult to deal with if they want to keep animals according to the law,” she said.

At the same time, the graduate of the Seberang Jaya Polytechnic, Penang, also advised the public who want to protect and keep exotic animals to equip themselves with knowledge about these animals.

"Be diligent in doing research and learn how to look after these animals before buying them because a lack of knowledge can cause the animals to fall ill and die,” said Syazlin Hafisya, who plans to open a mini zoo that allows the public to come and visit in the future. - BERNAMA