As a result of the lockdown to stop the worsening of the current health situation, zoo’s the world over have seen their visitor numbers totally vanish into thin air. As a result, their source of income to feed the animals has run dry and zoo managements are having trouble in providing food for thousands of its inhabitants.
According to a survey by the Indonesian Zoo Association(PKBSI), 92% of it’s association members have enough provisions to last until the middle of May.
The associated also stated that three of the zoos are able to provide food for another one to three months, while two others are adequately equipped and had enough food for more than three months.
Within the sphere of the association, the zoos have a total number of animals numbering more than 70,000 from 4,912 species, which are endemic to Indonesia and also from different parts of the world. Animals part of the list include the likes of the Bornean Orangutan, the Sumatran Tiger, the Sumatran Elephant and the Anoa which are endangered and protected species.
PKBSI spokesman Sulhan Syafi also mentioned that not all zoos are under the administration of government as some are privately owned. As a result these zoo’s are fully dependent on ticket sales as their main source of income.
Tony Sumampau the association’s secretary-general has said that four of the privately owned zoos of Indonesia have recently signed with the PKBSI and they can now seek aid from the government. Zoo’s that wish to register under the associated are required to show that they have emergency plans in place to handle any unexpected risk in the future. Tony also mentioned that most zoo’s have a backup plan to sustain themselves but most of the plans are only for a one month duration which in the case of the lockdown, has already extended to 2 months.
The association members have written To President Joko Widodo pleading for aid to weather the current predicament many zoo’s and animal welfare homes find themselves in.
As a temporary measure, association members are also rationing their resources for feeding the animals to ensure that they can stretch their rations for as long as possible. They are also considering as a last resort to feed the carnivore inhabitants of the zoo herbivores which are not endangered so that they can protect the threatened species while hoping aid comes soon to provide relief from the current resource crisis they find themselves in.