Louis Mini Zoo looking to sell wildlife collection
LOUIS Mini Zoo, the only zoo in the sultanate, is looking to sell its collection of exotic wildlife as the owner looks to close down the zoo after operating for more than 30 years.
The owner of the zoo, Louis Lim Kim Huat, said he was initially in talks with the government to transfer the ownership of his entire wildlife collection over to them but the talks between the two parties have since broken down.
He is now calling prospective local and foreign buyers to purchase his stock of animals in order to give the animals a new home.
“My zoo, which is the only private enterprise ever to be given permits to import exotic animals in Brunei, is nearly 38 years old and I myself am 77 years old so I would like now to close down the zoo so that I may (retire),” he said.
“That is the reason why I am looking for Bruneians or foreign nationals who would be interested in taking these animals off my hands for the right price, especially my collection of exotic birds,” he said.
Lim said he was told by the authorities that he had to dispose of his animals either through sale or release by December 2015 following a reply to his offer to the government.
“After preliminary talks, I decided to negotiate the sale of my animals to the government in 2012 and they verbally promised to give it consideration while even bargaining the prices with me at the time,” he said.
“However, after some time, they not only decided not to take up the offer to buy my animals but also ordered me to close down my zoo at the soonest, the reason given being that the zoo was unsafe and unsuitable for the public,” he said.
Lim had also attempted to negotiate the sale of his animals to foreign buyers but decided to seek local buyers as the foreign buyers were taking a long time with their due diligence and also due to the order from the authorities to clear the contents of his zoo pressuring him to sell.
“I was even ordered to transfer the contents of my zoo to Kg Batang Duri in the Temburong District in an effort to hasten the closure of my zoo but since I was not to be given any compensation for it, I refused to do so,” he claimed.
The collection of animals available for sale to the public currently in care of the zookeepers include cassowaries, peacocks, eagles, porcupines, vultures, owls, ostriches, storks, herons and monkeys imported from as far as Kenya, Brazil and Papua New Guinea.
Louis Mini Zoo, located at Kg Sungai Kelugos in Tutong, started operations in 1978 and opened its doors to the public in 1985.
When visited by The Brunei Times yesterday, the zoo was still operational and open for business but some of the animals had been transferred to LTS Farm located at Simpang 2055 on Jln Tutong.
Members of the public who are interested in purchasing animals from the zoo may either visit the zoo and enquire within or call the management of the zoo at 8734108 and 2429262.
A full list of the animals available and the prices for sale will be provided upon request by the management.
The Brunei Times