Indonesian zoo ends cruel animal performances following Animals Asia exposé

  • Indonesia zoo Animals Asia, Scorpion Foundation and Change for Animals Foundation

YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia—November 30, 2017—A zoo on Indonesian island of Java has ended animal performances in response to a campaign by Animals Asia, Scorpion Foundation and Change for Animals Foundation to expose the shocking exploitation of an orangutan, sun bear and otter for public entertainment.

Footage taken in February and April this year by Animals Asia’s Indonesian partner Scorpion Foundation showed a sun bear being forced to pedal a tricycle around a stage and an otter pushing a cart at Gembira Loka Zoo in Yogyakarta city.

Captive animals are mistreated at Gembira Loka Zoo in Indonesia. The country is now starting to see animal performances end as it confronts animal cruelty due to emerging animal protection sentiments among the public.

Captive animals are mistreated at Gembira Loka Zoo in Indonesia. The country is now starting to see animal performances end as it confronts animal cruelty due to emerging animal protection sentiments among the public.

Another clip revealed an orangutan made to grin and pose for photos with visitors. It also showed nervous staff on hand to deal with the slightest hint of restlessness from the orangutan, in a powerful reminder that what wild animals are put through to entertain humans is entirely unnatural to them and an assault on their dignity.

After two follow-up visits in October and November, Scorpion’s monitoring team can confirm that the zoo has stopped offering photo opportunities with the orangutan. In addition, the sun bear and otter are no longer being exploited for profit in a triumph for the tens of thousands of animal lovers who signed a petition to end all cruel animal attractions in Indonesian zoos.

Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said:

“This success is testimony to the incredible force for good that we can all be part of when cruelty is exposed. Petitions are read, public anger is felt, change does happen.

“The authorities and zoo managers are beginning to understand that manipulating animals so they no longer behave in a natural, instinctive way is not just inexcusable, it’s bad for business. Once these exposés come to light, the public has shown it does not want to be party to this degrading and irresponsible spectacle which serves no purpose but to line pockets.”

The news is the latest in a raft of positive developments indicating a real The news is the latest in a raft of positive developments indicating a real animal welfare awakening in the Southeast Asian powerhouse.

Just this year, Scorpion investigations resulted in two zoos ending animal selfies and performances.

In February, Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister spoke of the need for standardised laws on animal care after a Scorpion exposé showing bears living in deplorable conditions in Bandung zoo went viral.

And in November, the Governor of West Java wrote to all the province’s mayors asking them to issue directives banning fights involving dogs and wild boars, saying the torture of animals was a crime, after Scorpion released footage of a vicious fight known as “dugong” or “adu bagong”.

Neale said:

“We have to thank the Gembira Loka Zoo management for doing the right thing by the animals in their care. They’ve shown that they are willing to listen and willing to change.

“Now we want to go even further. With sustained pressure, we can help this movement spread. Other animals, such as sun bear Ajib and her cub Marsha being used as props for tourist selfies, still need our help. Clear laws standardising the care of all animals at all facilities across the country – including circuses – must be introduced.”

Animals Asia is also campaigning for an end to selfies with sun bears Ajib and Marsha at the True Bali Experience Elephant Camp and an end to Indonesia’s cruel travelling dolphin circuses.

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