Monday, September 12, 2016

Tortoise Liberation Pond (乌龟放生池) - In a Deplorable Condition @ Kek Lok Si Temple [Penang, Malaysia]

I remember (fuzzily) a sprawling pond filled with hundreds of tortoises in my last visit to Penang in 1995 and was in fact looking forward to rekindle my memory in my recent visit. 

Maybe my memory had failed me as i don't recollect the pond to be so near the commercial entities! 

The scale wasn't that humongous too and what we eventually came upon was more a pond surrounded by a walkway around its perimeter, connected to a pavilion in the centre.

This was the pavilion that looked like it had been in this area for a long time and was in severe need for a fresh coat of paint. Guess the 'make-up' would be coming soon as we couldn't have missed the ongoing construction! 

Algae-colored water; i doubt this is healthy for the shelled reptiles but i am no testudinologist! No fishes in the water for two reasons; the tortoises would likely prey on them and it's hard to compete with the algae for oxygen in the water. 

Key threat to the tortoises' life is, in my opinion, not the algae water but the construction which involved building a new building! See the amount of concrete and scaffolding! 

The construction eats into the space of the liberation pond and with all the dust, noise and pollution, i am wondering why there wasn't any effort to rehouse the tortoises in another area and move them back when everything is completed. 

A few more photographs; i am not going to go anthropomorphic about this even though it's sad to see suffering in such deplorable condition. Irony is that this is taking place in a place with a religion said to practice benevolence and compassion for all living creatures. 

You may buy a bunch of water spinach from the nearby vendor to feed the tortoises as there's a strict policy of no outside food to feed the tortoises in order to ensure the pond's cleanliness (*roll eyes*) . Wait, how liberated is this exactly for the tortoises?

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Location Map
As above.


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