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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Deerland, Pahang

Deerland, despite its name, is actually a small family owned petting zoo located near Kuala Gandah in Pahang. Yes, Kuala Gandah as in the place where the Elephant Sanctuary is located. You can read about the Elephant Sanctuary by clicking on this link.

As a small zoo, Deerland is probably not a destination as of itself, but combined with a visit with the Elephant Sanctuary, can be a useful complement to the sanctuary, especially if you arrive early in Kuala Gandah before the activities start there at around 1:30pm onwards.

To get there is basically the same as described in the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary write-up, only when you reach the fork in the road with the green signboard, take the road to the right which heads towards Bukit Rengit.

About a couple of minutes after the junction you will arrive at Deerland. Park along the side of the road under the shade of the trees. No parking fees involved.

Deerland. Park by the roadside.
After parking, go to the ticket office and buy your tickets at the ticketing booth. Deerland opens at 10:30am but is closed on Fridays.

The park opens at 10:30am but is closed on Friday.
Ticket counter.
Ticket prices are a mystery as it did not appear to be displayed anywhere and there are probably double-pricing strategies in play i.e. different prices for locals and foreigners. Anyway, as locals we were told to pay RM6 per person and given a ticket showing RM5 crossed out. Probably RM10 for non-Malaysians?

RM5 or RM6?
After paying you will be given a sticker to stick on your shirt, and a coupon to exchange for deer food. Then open the gate and enter.

Enter the turnstile into Deerland.
Deerland is essentially in a rainforest, and narrow uneven footpaths lead into the park.
After passing a cage with birds, you will come to a man at a makeshift stand. In exchange for your coupons he will give you a small basket of potatoes cut into strips to feed the deer.

You will then come to a large fenced-up enclosure where the deer freely roam under the trees. There is no grass or undergrowth within the enclosure, probably eaten by the deer to leave just bare earth.

The deer know you are coming with food.

Food...

Where's the food?

Food?

Food!
Feed the deer with the potatoes. Some of the deer are friendly and some are more aggresive. Pet the friendlier ones!

Me... hungry.
What... finished?
The deer have a pretty big area to run around and generally seem well treated. Unlike other zoos, you can get to feed and pet them which makes it more memorable. On one of our earlier visits, one of the staff even allowed us to go into the enclosure and spend time with the deer.

Next to the deer enclosure is an ostrich. This guy is a bit fierce.

Beware of the ostrich.
After the deer enclosure, there are a few other cages containing various types of birds and one containing cats, apparently they are "bengal cats".

Among the bird enclosures, there are indian peafowls. One of the peacocks opened his tail for us to admire.

Indian Peafowl.
A rather unusual peacock also resides here, being of totally white plumage, probably an albino?
Albino peacock.
Further on is a small enclosure, where the friendly staff allows you to hold and play with the hedgehog.

Hedgehog.
Next to the hedgehog enclosure are three cages containing pythons. If you are not squeemish, the staff will take the snake out of the enclosure and drape it around your neck for that photo opportunity.

Hmm... are you my next lunch?
Albino python.
Apparently, the snakes only eat once a month. Or so we were told by the staff.

Further along the trail, we came across a couple of super cute prairie dogs. We could have probably spent all day looking at the antics of these 2 rodents. Standing on their hind legs, looking at you, these comical creatures stood watching us while chewing on kuaci (sunflower seeds) as if we were their daily entertainment.

Prairie Dog.

You looking at me?
Deerland is not a big zoo, you could probably breeze through it in half-an-hour. Also, with the advent of political correctness, you may find zoos in general something you wish to avoid.

It is true that some of the cages in Deerland, especially for the birds seem a little small and some of the animals like the raccoons look distressed, but the vast majority of the other animals, especially the deer seem to be content and well looked after.

Kids, especially will get a kick out of feeding and petting the animals. A nice enough stopover on the way to the Elephant Sanctuary.

Deerland Park
Address: Bukit Rengit road, Lanchang, Pahang.
Tel: 013-967 6242
Business Hours: 10.30am - 5.30pm; (Friday off)
Admission Fee: RM6 (MYKAD holder, adult); RM4 (child).

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