A manager at the zoo reported animals have been dying by the hundreds because of neglect on the part of the zookeepers. The animals have been subjected to overcrowding, lack of food and sunlight, and exposure to easily treatable illnesses.
The neglect results, at least partially, from infighting between zoo officials over who is in charge. Their bickering was evidently more important to them than caring for the animals and as a result, the zoo reported 362 animal deaths in 2008, and 327 in 2009.
Between being responsible for the deaths of endangered species, depriving animals of food, and keeping them cramped in cages not updated or renovated since 1990, the Surabaya zoo exemplifies what is the worst about the animal entertainment industry.
But please don’t think the Surabaya zoo is just a “bad” zoo and there are other “good” zoos out there. It is easy to look at a zoo in Indonesia and assume we have better conditions and that we must treat our animals so much better. A cage is a cage and animals die in American zoos every day. No animal is ever happy, content, or fulfilled living in a zoo.
Spokespeople for zoos, circuses and other animal entertainment companies always assure the public they have their animals’ best interests in mind when they make decisions. But the reality of that statement is easily seen following a situation like this one in Indonesia. The truth is, whenever there is another concern, the animals are the first thing to be ignored.
The answer to problems like this isn’t a better zoo. It isn’t a bigger cage, or better food. It isn’t more attentive staff or more funding. The ultimate answer to problems like this is the end of animal entertainment. Animals do not exist for our amusement any more than they exist for our consumption. The only solution is to close all zoos and circuses…for good.
Photo: Public Domain. Author: Kallgan
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