Group photo of KDU Volunteers with the committee members of KDU’s Leo Club  KDU Volunteers feeding the deers at Zoo Negara Malaysia
Briefing by zoo representative Muhamad Fikri bin Burhanudin (facing the crowd) from the Education Department who has almost 2 years experience working at Zoo Negara Malaysia.  
It is believed that the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Embracing the idea of appreciating the living species in our environment and to educate students on the significance of community service, KDU’s Leo Club recently organised a meaningful project named “The Zoo Project” that was held at Zoo Negara on 12 March. A group of 40 KDU students participated in this community service activity that inculcates teamwork, responsibility, and stronger connection with the natural environment.

The organising chairperson for this event, Bernard Tang from the Diploma in Computer Studies, explained, “The main purpose of this event was to allow students to get a taste of a zookeeper’s work behind the scenes as well as to gain knowledge on animals and its environment. During this event, the participants were very dedicated throughout and even requested for more of such events next year so that they can volunteer again.” The positive vibes were prevalent as students eagerly participated in all of the activities conducted without any difficulties and by giving full cooperation to the organising committee.

Muhamad Fikri bin Burhanudin, the Zoo Negara representative who has been attached with the zoo for over 2 years and actively involved in educating youth on animal protection and volunteering program, briefed the students on the rules, regulations, and the activities of the community service. He split the volunteers into different groups by the areas within the zoo, such as the Savannah Area, the Bear Complex, the Mamalia Kingdom, the Animal Show and the Aquarium, amongst others.

During the project, each group had different tasks to do, ranging from sweeping fallen leaves to helping to feed the zoo animals, to even helping the zookeepers prepare for the animal shows. The zookeepers were really helpful and friendly, and also imparted some useful advice to the students for not only keeping the zoo safe, but in regards to life in general as well.

According to Chee Mun Munn, from KDU’s University of London International Bachelor of Laws programme, “The zookeepers told us a lot of the interesting happenings in the zoo and the things that every zookeeper has to be aware of while carrying out their duties in the zoo,” which she found really interesting and intriguing.

Furthermore, Abigail Yap Hui Shing from the Foundation Studies in Art and Technology programme, also had this to add, “The zoo really emphasised on the hygiene of the animal habitats and also the management of the security to protect the animals,” which impressed her. Her course mate, Joanne Cheong Jia Hui, agreed and also added, “This project was a new experience for me as a committee member and a volunteer, and overall the project went smoothly. It was a great experience for me and I am willing to commit to participate in upcoming projects for the year.”

Students were exposed to enriching activities by participating in community service which could have a significant impact in their lives. However, this round of community service had a wonderful addition as it also involves the cherished life of the wild life which share the wonderful world that we live in. We may have made remarkable technological advancement and sophisticated gadgets or equipment, but we should never take the beauty of our mother nature for granted as it is impossible to live in the world where pollution is everywhere.