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Orangutans face abuse in Indonesian zoos: study

A COP study of five zoos across Java island found that some of the apes were being denied proper nourishment so they would eat anything tourists tossed into their cages.
by Staff Writers
Jakarta (AFP) May 27, 2009
Orangutans in public and private Indonesian zoos are being abused to the point where they are eating their own vomit and drinking their own urine, conservationists said Wednesday.

The non-governmental Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) said zookeepers were keeping the endangered apes malnourished so they would be eager to take food from visitors.

"The zoo managements have abandoned the principles of animal welfare," which is to keep animals free of pain, hunger and stress, COP captivity researcher Luki Wardhani told a press conference.

"We documented several stress symptoms and abnormal behavior. They bump their own bodies, vomit and eat it again, urinate and drink their own urine, lick their own nipples and sit without expression."

A COP study of five zoos across Java island found that some of the apes were being denied proper nourishment so they would eat anything tourists tossed into their cages.

"Public feeding should be stopped. The visitors often feed the orangutans unsuitable food and the zoos fail to monitor this," COP captivity program manager Seto Hari Wibowo said.

Too often the orangutans are kept in cages instead of larger enclosures which help reduce their stress levels, the group said.

There are an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left in the wild, 80 percent of which live in Indonesia and 20 percent in Malaysia, according to The Nature Conservancy.

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Malaysian orangutans get bridge to help find mates: report
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) May 27, 2009
Wildlife activists have built a treetop bridge in an orangutan sanctuary on Borneo island to help the endangered apes find new mates and prevent inbreeding, a report said Wednesday. The 43-metre suspension bridge was completed last month at the Lower Kinabatangan Sanctuary in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah, the New Straits Times reported. "But this is a temporary measure. In the ... read more







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