Saturday, 17 October 2009

Skippy and his mates come to Indonesia: Why?

RE: Indonesia Safari Park gets 6 `roos from Australia | The Jakarta Post


Submitted to but not yet published by The Jakarta Post in reply to the above article.

Skippy and his mates come to Indonesia: Why?

All over Indonesia, wildlife endemic to this country is being wiped out at petrifying speed. A visit to most zoos in Indonesia will elicit scenes of cruelty to animals which defy belief and sufficiently bad to make even the most hardened zoo advocate either vomit or cry, possibly both.

It is, therefore, extremely hard, impossible really, to comprehend why the Australia Zoo (see Indonesia Safari Park gets 6 `roos from Australia Mon, 10/12/2009) chooses, rather than offer its expertise and money to help the bad zoos and the animals already incarcerated in them, instead to send six kangaroos to an Indonesian zoo with another nine promised if the first shipment survive. I'm quite sure the Indonesian Zoo in Bogor is a good one and will take good care of their new acquisitions from Australia; that is not in question or the point. Can anyone imagine the good people of Indonesia asking to see kangaroos in their local zoo?

The point is, why would the Australia Zoo go to all the expense of sending these Kangaroos and staff to Indonesia? What on earth will seeing Australian kangaroos in an Indonesian zoo, teach Indonesian visitors about their own endemic wildlife and why it is in much greater need of understanding and help than - kangaroos? The short answer is nothing. Why, then, has the Australia Zoo gone to such lengths and expense? Would the not small amount of money involved in shipping all these kangaroos and attendant staff to Indonesia have been better spent helping the many bad zoos improve? The short answer, in my view, is unquestionably: YES.

Whatever next?

Sean Whyte

Chief Executive