Zoo officials insist that the bears are well fed.

Tunggul Kumoro   21 January 2017 08:03

Bandung Zoo once again grabbed the attention of International media after a video released by Indonesia-based NGO Scorpion Foundation showing malnourished sun bears begging for food went viral.

Indonesian activists accused the zoo for starving its animals and has called for the zoo's closure through an online petition.

An official of the zoo has denied the accusation, claiming the bears are appropriately fed and healthy as well.

The scene on tape, however, showed the opposite. Four skinny bears were begging for food,and one even seemed to be eating its own faeces.

This is not Bandung Zoo's first controversy.

Last year, the zoo was temporarily closed over the death of a Sumatran elephant.

The local conservation agency had identified the cause of the poor elephant's death is because of neglected.

Marison Guciano of Scorpion Foundation said an investigation had been carried out since mid 2016. The foundation even offered assistance to Bandung Zoo manager, but it was turned down.

The Foundation later sent a letter to West Java's Center for Conservation of Natural Resources (BBKSDA) only to be replied with a suggestion to communicate with the zoo manager.

Morison then tried to provide fruits for the bears, but even this act was prohibited by the zoo.

Another monitoring was conducted by Scorpion Foundation on Jan. 8, but the result was similar to last year's observation.

"You can see it yourself in the video, they eat their own faeces. Both of the videos show the bears begging for food to visitors. When they try to stand, we can see their bones! They were so skinny, right?" said Morison on Wednesday.   

Local Government's Reaction

Bandung government claimed it has taken actions regarding this report.

Mayor Ridwan Kamil said he is mad with the problems of Bandung Zoo that keep recurring and ruining the positive image of Bandung.

According to him, the local government has been working to prevent similar problem to reoccurring in Bandung Zoo. However, the Bandung government is lacking of legal authority to act upon the zoo as it is a private owned institution and only Environment and Forestry Ministry can close or punish it.

Ridwan Kamil said he will contact the Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya to deal with this case.

 

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