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An animal park in Indonesia, named Surabaya Zoo but dubbed “Death Zoo” by those who know its history, has had a bad reputation for some time because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding their animals’ deaths.
On top of these all-too-common deaths, their animals are also kept in horrible conditions and are extremely malnourished, making it the worst zoo for wildlife to live.
A critically endangered Sumatran tiger died earlier this year after suffering from heart failure caused by neglect. His teeth were decaying, he had a persistent cough, and appeared to be lethargic in the weeks leading up to his death. He left behind three male and six female Sumatran tigers, who are all living in the same awful conditions that he was.
The enclosures are often overcrowded and filthy, and the tigers have been documented as being starved to death. Photos reveal that these particular animals were given less food than they could possibly survive on. Despite this evidence and the fact that he died prematurely for a tiger living in captivity, the zoo’s spokesperson insisted that the zoo followed proper procedures and that he died of natural causes.
Another Sumatran tiger died in 2013 of what seemed to be natural causes, but an autopsy revealed that his stomach had rotted through because he was consistently fed meat laced with formaldehyde.
Though the zoo was recently taken over by the city administration, the deaths have not stopped and the workers are seasonal and don’t have the proper training to care for these special animals.
The tigers are not the only ones suffering in this animal park. Among the animals that have died during their time at the park are Michael, an 18-month-old lion cub who was found hanging in his enclosure after allegedly getting his head stuck between steel cables.
One infamous story is that of a giraffe that died mysteriously at the zoo. When an autopsy was performed, it was found to contain over 90 pounds of plastic in its stomach due to the animal eating waste thrown in by zoo visitors. If the zoo workers had properly maintained the grounds by enforcing cleanliness and diligently picking up the trash, this giraffe might have been saved.
Approximately 45 Komodo dragons died after huge fights broke out between them in an overcrowded cage, and 180 pelicans stuffed into a small enclosure often injure themselves from being crammed in there. The elephants have three feet chained at all times that prevent them from moving around, and their ankles are often found ulcerated.
The future for the remaining animals looks grim, but many animal rights organizations have been lobbying for the closure of this zoo and distribution of these animals to different, well-kept zoos. The problem is that no parks have stepped up to take in the creatures, but raising awareness could help these animals secure a better home. Sign the petition to have this zoo closed here.
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