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Baturraden Zoo

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by Peter Dickinson, 30 Oct 2009.

  1. Peter Dickinson

    Peter Dickinson Well-Known Member

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    The Baturraden Zoo on the slopes of Slamet Mountain in Java Indonesia is amongst that select few worst zoos I have ever visited. In spite of what I think it is a popular place with visitors. It is easy to accept something if you know no better. Education is essential as is proper zoo legislation.
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    that sounds a good sight worse than any zoo I've been to, and you're right, it makes other BAD zoos seem almost good.

    I empathise this line "A couple of crocs in a tiny muddy pool being terrorised by small boys with big sticks. I told them off, but for what use?" -- I've been in that situation, stopping zoo visitors poking animals with sticks, stopping kids abusing puppies, making bird poachers release the birds they've caught (in the Kerinci-Seblat National Park), whatever, it makes not a jot of difference except its something that you just have to do because you cannot ignore it. The world is a sad place when you're a traveller.

    "Forever is a long time - In a bad zoo" is a fantastic quote

    all the "bad" zoos I've visited in Asia seem overwhelmingly popular with the locals (and local tourists) and few seem to appreciate the horrendous conditions the animals are in. You regularly see them breaking off tree branches in order to poke animals or to rake across the cage front, often for no other purpose than they can. They in all honesty cannot understand your objections. I guess you need to have seen "good" zoos or to come from a country that has the luxury to value the lives of animals to know that they aren't just objects for human amusement. (and yes I do know there are people in Asia and other less-fortunate countries working for animal welfare, I'm just talking in general about the majority of the population)
     
  3. Peter Dickinson

    Peter Dickinson Well-Known Member

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    It is possible to make a difference given the time. When I joined Al Ain zoo as curator in the seventies all the animals were poked, stoned and abused. The keepers did nothing because they had long since given up under the torrent of verbal and physical abuse.
    I retaliated from day one and treated like with like. I used a camel stick to beat visitors and learned to abuse in a variety of languages and dialects. Visitors asked the keepers why? They explained. In one week there was a difference. The keepers joined in. Within three short weeks the visitors themselves were policing newcomers. They had questioned my craziness and thought about it. All it needs is time and a bit of very simmple education.
     
  4. ZYBen

    ZYBen Well-Known Member

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    to quote you from another thread

     
  5. Peter Dickinson

    Peter Dickinson Well-Known Member

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    You have to go back thirty years to another world and another culture. It worked. It changed an unacceptable situation to an acceptable one. I would do the same again then in that situation. I am not saying the same would work in Wareham or Woking.
     
  6. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    There's a lot of people I'd like to belt on the shins with a camel stick, even today.

    :p

    Hix
     
  7. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Peter on this one!

    What I do concur though is that we - that is local individuals - need to take the initiative in improving animal management, husbandry and housing in S.E. Asian zoos. It may not be overnight, but I am sure it can be done. Just we need more pro-activeness from groups like SEAZA to really start improving zoo standards. But accountability must come first and I am not sure that orgs like PETA/PAWS or arm chair critics should make assumptions on the zoos they visit unless they manage to talk to senior curatorial staff or management to convey their concerns.

    Issues here are ... bureacracy, corruption, afraid to lose face in public affairs and a lack of proper funds to start improving S.E. Asian zoos. Call me naive, but if every zoo in the developed world had a town-to-town relationship with a zoo in the developing world, the latter might be in a better position to change the general status quo. The recent revoking of ownership of Schmutzer Center is quite the contrary to this example as I am not yet convinced local authorities are able to ensure proper husbandry, management and funding for their zoos.

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    For the record: Peter this ain't directed at you, I know and respect the long zoo career that you have had and appreciate all your columns on zoos, wildlife, the life in S.E. Asia in general and what else comes up in your blogs! It is for those forumsters who more or less quip "rotten", but do not write reviews of S.E. Asian zoos (I have visited some, so I know what goes around too).

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