Indonesia's Tiger Sanctuary Is A Squalid Hell Hole

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Cry of the Tiger: The deadly diseases threatening the worlds most at-risk animals in their supposed sanctuaries.

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Development and poaching have made Indonesia's Sumatran tigers critically endangered. And now Java's Surabaya Zoo, once thought to be a vital sanctuary, has become a squalid hell-hole for its inhabitants.

"It should be closed. It's a disease-carrying death zoo", says Sybelle Foxcroft of the Cee4Life wildlife charity. Everywhere you look there are stark and confronting examples of animals in squalid, cramped conditions. "There's tuberculosis, there's hepatitis. And the animals are also dying of pneumonia." The zoo is a rat's nest of vested interests, power struggles, nepotism, ineptitude and disinterest. "To revitalise it would take an immense amount of funds", says Indonesia's Forestry Minister, Zulkifli Hasan. Meanwhile vast swathes of Indonesia's jungle territory are being turned into farming land and its burgeoning population has pushed ever deeper into the tiger's natural domain. "If we can't save the habitat of the tigers we might lose them in another 30-40 years."

ABC Australia - Ref. 6025

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