YOGYAKARTA - Former Regent of Rejang Lebong, Bengkulu, Drs. Marwan, M.S. (65 years old) donated two specimens of private collection of the Sumatran tiger and head of antler to be stored in Museum of Biology, Universitas Gadjah Mada. The collection of the preserved animals that have been kept for 21 years was received by Dean of Faculty of Biology, UGM, Dr. Retno Peni Sancayaningsih, M.Sc., Friday (29/4). The handover was witnessed by Head of the Museum, Ludmilla Fitri Untari S.Si., M.Sc., and Chairman of Museum Consultative Body of Yogyakarta, KRT Thomas Haryonagoro.
Marwan was touched after doing the handover. He was silent before delivering his speech. He said that he received the collection of two specimens of Sumatran tiger and head of antler from his friend when he served as Regent from 1989 to 1993. "After becoming Regent, I brought this collection to Yogyakarta in 1994," said the man born in Aceh.
Marwan’s idea to hand over his personal collection emerged when he often passed on Sultan Agung Street and witnessed the Biology Museum which is always crowded by visitors, especially children and kindergarten students. One day, Marwan was trying to enter and view the collections of the museum. After knowing that this museum keeps a collection of animal specimens, Marwan was thinking of granting his collection. "My thought at the time, it is better to keep this collection of goods here than at home. It can be seen by many people. I had discussed this idea with my wife and children at home. They also agreed," the former commander of military command post in Musirawas, South Sumatra, recalled.
Marwan said that while he was on duty in the vicinity of Gunung Leuser National Park, there were many clashes between communities and wild animals, such as tigers and elephants, particularly in areas of the site of transmigration in Bengkulu Province. "Many people said that tigers like in the mountains, actually they like living in the valley. Where there are humans, there are also tigers," he said.
However, the number of Sumatran tigers which is getting fewer became concerns for Marwan. He expected his collection to be useful to improve knowledge for the students who visit the Museum of Biology, Universitas Gadjah Mada. "It is not impossible if one day there will be no more tigers, just our kids who tell their children that there used to be the Sumatran tiger. So, maintaining the current environment is very important," he said.
Dr. Retno Peni Sancayaningsih expressed appreciation for the grant of private collection of Marwan. "As the Dean, I am very happy. We will treat them well. This collection can be useful for future generations," she said. Retno said that Faculty of Biology plans to give award to Marwan who has participated to add collection of the Museum of Biology UGM.
Ludmilla Fitri Untari said that the Biology Museum which was officially opened in 1969 had collections of more than 4,000 specimens, including collection of preserved animals and plants. "This new collection further increases the number of our collections. Hopefully, this improves knowledge for visitors," she concluded.