Sunway Theme Parks: Hari Raya Celebration Cahaya Aidilfitri, River Terrapin

In this month full of festivities, Echo is proud and pleased to present its most recent collaboration with none other than Sunway Theme Parks! For those interested in knowing more about Malaysia’s famed theme parks, Sunway Lagoon and The Lost World of Tambun, this new series will update our readers with recent events and additions into the theme parks.

Kicking off this new series, Sunway Theme Parks is extremely pleased to introduce Cahaya Aidilfitri, a month-long filled with Raya themed events for the people! In lieu of Hari Raya, Sunway Theme Parks has designed a fairly exuberant line of events and activities for its visitors to celebrate their Raya full of fun and excitement.

Cahaya Aidilfitri

From 18th April 2022 to 2nd June 2022, visitors of Sunway Lagoon and The Lost World of Tambun would have encountered fun-filled Raya-themed activities. After nearly two years of not celebrating festivities with loved ones, Sunway Theme Parks is ready to welcome visitors warm-heartedly for a meaningful Raya.

Firstly, in Sunway Lagoon, a few events have been slated to be held at the Surf Beach Stage,  such as ‘Raya Card Decoration’, ‘Giant Batu Seremban’ and ‘Giant Congkak’. A ‘Giant Bablow’ event is to be held at the Carousel Stage, while at the Giant Canopy, a ‘Pukulan Raya’ event has been organized. Visitors can catch these programmes from 10.05 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. during the event period.

Furthermore, the public can look forward to pocket shows held at the Warong, from 5.15 p.m. to 6.00 p.m., where they get a chance to catch up with the hosts on Sembang Santai and later enjoy the Wheel of Dance while catching a few performances followed by a photo session.

Simultaneously, in Sunway’s Lost World of Tambun, from 30th April to 8th May 2022, special Raya activities have been lined up such as the Raya Dance Performance at Cats Bridge and Raya Activity at Lupe Stage. From the 9th May to the 13th May, visitors will get the opportunity to meet and greet Raya characters around the park while enjoying the wide range of attractions at the park. On two special days, the 14th and the 15th, from 2.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m., visitors can catch a glimpse and check out additional performances by ‘Lepak Lads’ at Lupe Stage.

River Terrapin

The highlight of Sunway Theme Parks’ Raya celebration was undoubtedly the unveiling of the new event in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN), the ‘River Terrapin Conservation Awareness’ programme. On the 25th of April 2022, Sunway Theme Parks launched the aforementioned endangered species awareness programme alongside PERHILITAN in Sunway Lagoon. Among those present for the event were Mr Calvin Ho, Executive Director of Sunway Theme Parks, YB Dato’ Abdul Kadir bin Abu Hashim, Chief Director of PERHILITAN, Mr Ong Pang Yen, Executive Director, Sunway Group Chairman’s Office, Dr. Pazil bin Abdul Patah, Executive Director, Conservation Division of PERHILITAN, Mr Haidar Khan bin Mokbolhassan, Director of Planning and Corporate Division of PERHILITAN and Mr Dennis Ten Choon Yung, Director of PERHILITAN, Selangor.

Launching of the ‘River Terrapin Conservation Awareness’ programme

For those wondering what a River Terrapin is, it is an adorable, tortoise-resembling reptile with a tail. The river terrapin or Batagur affinis (its scientific name) is one of the few endangered species commonly found in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatera, Thailand and Cambodia. There are a total of four river terrapins that have found their new home in Sunway Lagoon’s Pet Village, where the visitors may catch a glimpse of them in their new habitat. Currently, there is one female river terrapin from Sunway Lagoon, two females and one male Terrapin from PERHILITAN, the former being below 20 years old and the three latter are 35 years old.

Some interesting facts to take away from the River Terrapin is that its diet mainly consists of vegetables, fruits and sometimes food pellets. At Sunway Lagoon, the rangers have put together a healthy diet for the river Terrapin, with 50% consisting of vegetables such as water spinach and carrots, 25% soft fruits- papaya, bananas and the remaining 25% to be fish pellets. Generally, the reptile can lay up to 40 eggs once or twice each year.

From left Dr Calvin Ho and Dato’ Abdul Kadir

Conservation efforts to raise the river Terrapin will include preparing a suitable environment for mating, which is hoped to take place in December. Sunway Lagoon and PERHILITAN will be joining hands to carry out activities in rearing the reptile, such as egg collection, incubation, post-hatch care and releasing it into the wild. This is in hopes of increasing the population of the endangered species in the years to come.

Alongside PERHILITAN, Sunway Theme Parks is to execute conservation activities for the reptile to enlighten the core of this programme. Firstly, there is training for wildlife rangers encompassing a sharing session with a Turtle Conservation Society(TCS) Education Officer to equip them with more knowledge. An awareness talk is to be carried out for the general staff during training hours. Last but not least, there will be a talk by a Wildlife Presenter daily during operating hours for the guests. Sunway Lagoon also hopes to incorporate the Explorer Ranger Programme to create a more fun learning environment and expects to host school-based programmes for the students.

Mr Calvin Ho and YB Dato’ Abdul Kadir introducing the River Terrapin.

As Executive Director of Sunway Theme Parks, Mr Calvin Ho presented a speech on PERHILITAN and Sunway Theme Parks initiative on making this event a successful one. He elaborated on how this conservation programme was to create awareness among the public on the condition of endangered species such as the River Terrapin.This joint event with PERHILITAN was to overcome the threat of extinction faced by the species. River Terrapins are one of the few animals classified as Critically Endangered under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

He hopes that the merging of PERHILITAN and Sunway Theme Parks for the ‘River Terrapin Conservation Awareness’ will be a platform to promote edutainment ( a fusion of education and entertainment) in Sunway’s Wildlife Parks. Coinciding with Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals, this partnership between these two parties is expected to be reflected in the goal introduced by the UN. 

Barking Deer Conservation

The four River Terrapin’s weren’t the only new addition to the Sunway Theme Parks family; a pair of Barking Deers from the Malacca Zoo joined the family in celebration of Raya. The pair were welcomed into Sunway’s Lost World of Tambun’s Petting Zoo as an exchange program with Sunway’s long-time partner, the Malacca Zoo. Originally, Tambun had two species of deers; the Javan Rusa (Timorensis) and the commonly known species, Mousedeer. The new pair of barking deers are both a year old and are expected to draw in more visitors during this Raya. The deers usually have a diet consisting mainly of vegetables such as long beans, cucumber and tomatoes.

In his speech, Calvin Ho expresses his hope to forge a longer-standing relationship with the Malacca Zoo and to increase the population of the barking Deer species. He also explains that this will ensure the wildlife rangers in Sunway Theme Parks will gain more understanding of Malaysian Wildlife to assist them in managing and conserving their species in the wild.

He concluded his speech by wishing everyone a glorious Raya and, most importantly, treasure these special moments spent with family and friends at the Theme Parks. For this Raya, he hopes that Sunway Theme Parks has been able to spread joy and prosperity to people all across Malaysia. 

Echo, too would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a blessed Raya. For those interested in knowing how a River Terrapin looks up close, make sure to swing by Sunway Lagoon and catch a glimpse of them in their new home, the River Terrapin enclosure at the Petting Zoo. They are known to be pretty friendly creatures! Also, don’t forget to check out the new pair of yearlings at Tambun too!

Written By: Poorani

Edited by: Maki & Jamie

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