Maharani Zoo and Cave in Lamongan regency, East Java, has denied that a Sumatran tiger under its care is malnourished after a recent viral video sparked concerns that the animal was too skinny.
A 13-second video posted on the Instagram account @ndorobeii on Monday showed a Sumatran tiger with a flat stomach and an extremely short tail walking around an enclosure in the zoo, eliciting questions and criticism from internet users.
“If you can’t take care of it, it’s better to release it into its habitat in the wild,” Instagram user @rico_achmady replied to the post.
“From its movements, this tiger looks traumatized by something. The tail isn’t there? Is it a victim of abuse by the zookeepers?” @yusuf_n1933 added.
Juli Tri Wahyuningtyas, a marketing coordinator at Maharani Zoo and Cave, confirmed that the Sumatran tiger belonged to the zoo.
Juli said the distance between the visitors’ stands, from which the video had been shot, and the bottom of the animal cage – about eight meters – made the tiger look thin.
She said Sumatran tigers had different body types than other kinds of tigers.
“The fact is that Sumatran tigers are not as big as other types of tigers. They are slimmer,” Juli said on Tuesday, as quoted by tribunnews.com.
Juli said the tiger in the video was an approximately 10-year-old male and had reproduced three times with another Sumatran tiger in the zoo.
She acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused visits to the zoo to decline but said the managers had been providing enough food for the animals.
“We are still providing nutrition and food according to standards, even though there have not been as many visitors as before the pandemic and we have been closed for several months,” said Juli. (syk)