XINHUA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE
June 5, 2000
KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian Rhino Trust Fund (MRTF) was launched
Monday with the main objective of generating income for rhinoceros
conservation efforts in the country.
The fund, launched by the Pacific Asia Tourism Association(PATA)
Malaysia Chapter, will also serve as an awareness campaign to the
public, officials said at the launch held in the northwestern state
of Pulau Pinang, according to Bernama news agency.
The amount of the fund was however not announced.
The public, especially schoolchildren, are taught the importance
of nature and the rhinoceros is used as the flagship species to
emphasize the importance of the ecosystem, said Hadi Mohamad, veterinary
officer of the Rhino Conservation Center (RCC) which will be used
as a living classroom for the students to have hands-on experience
on what they have learned.
The center uses the "gene-pool" concept whereby the animals
were released into their natural habitat to allow them to breed
on their own.
The 4,160-hactare center currently manages two male and five female
rhinoceroses captured in threatened areas throughout peninsular