300K Plead for Closure of 'Soul-Destroying' Zoo
Bandung Zoo maintains its animals have enough to eat
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2017 11:06 AM CST

(Newser) – Video shot at Indonesia's Bandung Zoo in May shows sun bears begging for food, their ribs visible, though the zoo says thin bears aren't necessarily unhealthy. Another bear was filmed apparently consuming its own feces in what one expert says may signal "extreme boredom"; Gabriella Fredriksson of the International Union for Conservation of Nature describes the scene to the BBC as "soul destroying," and animal activists are outraged. Though a video shot by the Scorpion Foundation this month appears to show fatter bears, concerns about animal cruelty at Bandung Zoo remain, activists tell Australia's ABC. Other videos show elephants in chains and a deer with a nasty skin condition at the facility, which didn't have a veterinarian on staff for a time and was last year accused of neglect in the death of an elephant found with bruises.

On TripAdvisor, visitors describe Bandung Zoo—which has since July had two vets on staff—as "hell on earth," while an investigator with the Scorpion Foundation tells Mashable it's "one of the worst zoos in all of Indonesia." A rep for the zoo's operator has brushed off complaints, telling the Jakarta Post that the animals do have enough to eat. The secretary general of the Indonesia Zoo Association says that during his visit he found "the carnivores are even too fat." Bandung's mayor previously said he didn't have the authority to shut down the privately run zoo, but several petitions are asking President Joko Widodo to do just that, including one with more than 300,000 signatures. (The "world's saddest polar bear" lives in a Chinese mall.)

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