Hundreds of Animals Die at Indonesian Zoo

Indonesia’s largest zoo is responsible for the deaths of nearly a thousand animals over the past three years, including endangered animals such as a Sumatran tiger, which died last Saturday.

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


William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you for the information.

W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thanks for caring.

Christinaalex Nicki
.5 years ago


Sandi C.
Sandi C5 years ago

shut them down.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam5 years ago

close the zoo !!!!

Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine A6 years ago

I agree, they deserve to be shut down and heavily fined.

valda p.
valda p8 years ago

Shame on all concerned ,how could any descent human stand by and not do some thing for the starving animals ,the one's responsible I hope will be fined and jailed ,probably not,,perhaps ,if 'Karma'does exist they will meet the same fate.

Carol Reins
Carol Reins8 years ago

And this happens in a predominately Buddhist country? Where's the compassion for all beings....none except for money.

Mary L.
Mary L.8 years ago

What is needed is an animal charity to look into the idea of virtual zoos and to promote that concept throughout the world. otherwise this torture of animals will continue. I am a world traveller and the zoos that I have seen would break your heart.

karen Taogaga
karen Taogaga8 years ago

this place needs to be shut down!