Sunday, April 29, 2012

Please sign this petition for animal welfare

Most zoos are hell holes of shackles, cramping, & concrete but the Surabaya Zoo in Surabaya, Indonesia is surely among the most wretched. For years, animal welfare activists from around Indonesia have been protesting the appalling & squalid conditions which cause hundreds of animal deaths every year. With over 4,000 animals, it has the most diverse & impressive menagerie found in Southeast Asia, including many critically endangered species: Sumatran tigers, camels, elephants, crocodiles, an array of birds, deer, bears, orangutans, Komodo dragons, an African lion, a wallaby. The emaciated, neglected animals live in dank, cramped, unsanitary, concrete cages, suffer from skin tumors & lesions, untreated wounds, diseases like pneumonia & tuberculosis, disabilities, lack of exercise. Many are on the brink of death. In 2010, after the death toll had risen to 25 animals per month & pressure from animal rights activists became clamorous, the Ministry of Forestry placed the zoo under an interim director to clean up the operation. The interim director blamed the problems on lack of money & an undisciplined staff but the conflict arose in 1998 with a prolonged management conflict between the Indonesian government, the Forestry Ministry, & the Surabaya municipality. Conditions then were so bad that the operation license was indefinitely (or at least until the heat was off) revoked. Last month, the scandalous conditions in the zoo became news again when a 30-year old male giraffe named Kliwon died with a 40-lb. (18 kg) wad of plastic in his stomach; for years, he had been eating whatever he could get which was mostly trash & peanuts thrown at him by zoo visitors. After Kliwon’s death & still blaming the staff, the warring & responsible agencies sent a new interim team in to clean up the mess. It’s certainly true that as the economic crisis deepens, zoos around the world face budget cuts & deficits. But one of the reasons many animals are endangered in the first place is the plunderous environmental policies of oligarchs who deforest natural habitats to build plantations to grow crops for the export market. Please take a moment to sign this petition from an animal welfare activist demanding the zoo be closed & animals be provided with suitable care & housing: (Photo of Kliwon taken the morning of his death by Juni Kriswanto/AFP)

1 comment:

  1. This is vile, authorities must take action - Use power for good.