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Jakarta Post

Issue: The state of the ark: Zoos in Indonesia

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Tue, April 3 2012   /  12:01 pm

March 26, p. 7

The Jakarta Post recently reported the death of a giraffe at the Surabaya Zoo, found to have ingested 20 kilograms of plastic. This is extremely tragic, but of course by no means surprising in Indonesia’s zoos, given the appalling way they are managed.

As a former zoo keeper myself in the UK, what is clear to me is that the vast majority of zoos in Indonesia hardly pay any attention whatsoever to investing in their zoo and instead see them only as potential revenue generators.

A good example is the so-called Medan Zoo in North Sumatra. For many years this occupied just a few tree-shaded hectares within the city itself and despite its poor sanitary condition, a number of animals somehow managed to survive there for several years. Nevertheless, they were subjected to blaring dangdut music just outside their cages every weekend and public holiday, and a...