Indonesia: Animals in the gardens on the brink of starvation due to the Coronavirus

Thousands of animals, including endangered Sumatran tigers and Orange Otan monkeys, are at risk of starvation in zoos in Indonesia where the Covid-19 epidemic is pushing these closed facilities toward collapse, officials said. .

About 60 financially stressed zoo with nearly 70,000 animals have been closed in this archipelago in Southeast Asia since mid-March, and most say they have enough food until mid-May alone.

"Most of the zoos depend on selling tickets, and when their doors were closed everything collapsed," said Salaan Sayyafi, spokesman for the Indonesian Zoological Association.

"We had to rely on innovative solutions to survive."

Earlier this month, the director of a German zoo warned that some animals should be sacrificed to feed other animals, and the Indonesian association decided that a similar scenario could be resorted to.

"If a few more months pass and we do not get any help from the government or international organizations, we will have to feed herbivores ... to carnivores," Sayyafi said.

Zoo workers took over grass and plants to boost food stocks for giraffes and other herbivores.

Sayafi said they cut the amounts of red meat for tigers and other carnivores and replaced them with poultry.

But all of these temporary measures will not close the revenue gap that generates 50 million visitors a year to zoos in Indonesia, forcing some to seek public donations and appeal to the national government for emergency aid.

"As for wildlife in Indonesia, like the Sumatran tigers, we have to do whatever it takes to save them. It is sad, but at this point we need to start thinking about priorities," said Syafi.

 

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