Monday, December 1, 2008 Jakarta Post
Letter: Primates in Ragunan Zoo
Regarding your article titled "Gorillas go ape waiting for a girl" (Nov. 24, p. 2) which stated that Howletts Wild Animal Park in Britain intends to send a female gorilla to the Schmutzer Primate Center at Ragunan Zoo:
The Schmutzer Primate Center is indeed a world-class facility for the few lucky primates that live there. With this primate center, Ragunan Zoo has a great opportunity to create awareness about primate conservation, greatly needed in Indonesia where the list of animal species threatened with extinction is the longest in the world.
There are, however, numerous orangutans and other primates at Ragunan Zoo that do not enjoy the benefits of living in the Schmutzer Primate Center.
These orangutans, gibbons and macaques live in small, dirty cement cages with rats running freely in and out.
As a testament to its commitment to take good care of animals given to Ragunan, the zoo administration should start with improving the living conditions of the many suffering surplus primates before requesting gorillas from other parts of the world.
FEMKE DEN HAAS Jakarta