Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Letters: Helping long suffering orangutans


Tue, 04/21/2009 2:26 PM | Opinion / The Jakarta Post

The governor of Jakarta is to be congratulated on his vision for a slimmed-down and modernized Ragunan Zoo - one Indonesia will hopefully become proud of.

It also is very encouraging to learn that the governor is supportive of providing greatly enhanced living conditions for the orangutans they choose to keep. They are after all Indonesia's most iconic species as well as its only great ape. Let us all hope the zoo will make every effort to move surplus wild-caught orangutans to rehabilitation centres. Surely Indonesia will not want to ship their orangutans to far-off countries and zoos, simply because it believes itself incapable of taking care of them.

How will this look to the rest of the world, especially at a time when millions of dollars are being spent on new cages to house gorillas at the zoo? Why this zoo thinks it "needs" more gorillas is a question no one has thus far answered and it remains a mystery.

We live in hope that the newly appointed director will review this situation and instead use the newly built enclosures for orangutans that are currently housed in horrific conditions. We wish the governor every success and offer him our full support in providing these long-suffering orangutans with a much better future.

Sean Whyte