Friday, 3 February 2012


A quick trip to Indonesia on the rare blessing of additional holiday time and enough funds to finance such a venture proved to be a bitter sweet moment for me. The "Primate Centre" in the zoo in Jakarta proved surprisingly well managed. Animals had natural surroundings and ample opportunities for various forms of enrichment. All species seemed to thrive in the heavily vegetated and natural looking enclosures.

Other sections of the greater zoo were unfortunately far behind the Primate Centre in terms of animal welfare. Small cement enclosures with multiple layers of wire housed the large cats and bears. Poor conditions for the chained elephants and even performing animals seemed consistent with threads of concern voiced on the internet. Very unlike the Primate Centre, the orang-utan enclosure in the general zoo area was a nightmarish enclosure of cement where the animals are encouraged to smoke cigarettes to "keep calm". The large cats were skin and bone and upsetting to see.

The illegal trade of exotic animals appeared abundant upon my visit to a well known Surabayan pet market. Everything from owls to monkeys to orang-utans and tigers were available for purchase and a steady stream of wealthy expatriate professionals and international wildlife traders filed down the cage lined avenues.

Chained monkeys squealed and struck out in aggression and were regularly taunted by their owners to entice buyers to inspect the source of the movement and noise.

Others squeal as horrendous backyard dentists remove the animals teeth to ensure the new owner cannot be bitten. 

Shame Indonesia, shame!


  1. This last picture is disgusting. How dare they catch animals from the wild jungles, pull the teeth out and sell as pets? Some people are just sick!

    Thanks for the blog Seth.

    Kylie.......Rockingham, WA.

  2. That is horrific.