East Java zoo faces scrutiny after video of skinny tiger surfaces

A zoo in East Java is under intense scrutiny among Indonesian netizens, following concerns that a tiger under its care, which looked to be nothing but skin and bones, may have been neglected and starving. 

A video of the tiger made its rounds on social media since yesterday, quickly prompting netizens to question the zoo’s management. The 13-second clip, shot from a high angle, showed the skinny tiger walking in its enclosure.

The uploader on Instagram wrote that the tiger was seen at Maharani Zoo and Cave in Lamongan regency.

“Oh God, I can’t bear to see its stomach,” the caption reads.

Maharani Zoo spokesperson Juli Tri Wahyuningtyas said yesterday that the video was indeed filmed at the zoo, but clarified that the male Sumatran tiger was being properly cared for.

“The position [where the tiger was filmed] was from a height of eight meters. It is fed once a day in the evening as much as 6-8 kilograms of meat and the tiger is old,” Juli said.

Juli added that the zoo will release its own images of the feline to show that he is in good health for his age. Zoo officials said that the tiger is 10 years old, meaning it is nearing the end of a tiger’s life expectancy of up to 15 years.

Malnourished and mistreated animals in Indonesian zoos are depressingly common. In 2016, a tiger died at Surabaya’s infamous “Death Zoo,” bringing attention to the negligence, mismanagement and corruption that has plagued the institution.

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