Open Letter to the Mayor of Surabaya Tri Rismaharini
10th Jan 2014
To Dear Mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini
I write again to you, but this time with a broken heart and great sorrow.
Mayor Rismaharini, I beg you to allow aid into the animals of Surabaya Zoo, I plead with your humanity to feel the anguish and sorrow from thousands of people around the world.
There is very little left on earth that can shock or appal masses of people worldwide all at once, but over time the horrendous, but preventable ongoing deaths of the animals of Surabaya Zoo has brought thousands around the world to deep and wrenching tears.
The news of the murder of the Lion in Surabaya, hung by a noose, and the visual images of such an act of vile criminal evil, is one of the worst occurrences on captive animals in recent memory. The image of this majestic creature is now burned into the souls of thousands and thousands of people on earth.
Mayor Rismaharini, we understand that you have done good work for the City of Surabaya and no one is denying that. But Mayor Rismaharini, why do you not allow aid to these animals? Why has this murder happened? There are so many terrible questions that remain unanswered? There is only one question that I want you to answer, as follows:
The internal management conflict of Surabaya Zoo is known worldwide, it is also known that you are highly influential with the Surabaya Zoo.
You have seen the heart of the world crying for mercy on these animals, that also includes thousands of the wonderful Indonesian animal loving public. The Zoo has been offered so much aid from conservation organisations and animal welfare organisations from all over the world. I dearly hope that you understand that the offer of help is meant in kindness and friendship, and not in any negative way. I felt I had to include that because to date, Mayor Rismaharini, you have refused any aid to these animals, you have refused any kind offers of help for the Zoo, and it is hoped that you do not feel that these offers of help is an intrusion or insult, and that the offers of help have been taken as an act of kindness and friendship as they were always intended to be.
Mayor Rismaharini, we know that you have done so much good for the City of Surabaya, but now, you do not seem to care for the precious lives of the animals of Surabaya Zoo.
They are protected species, some critically endangered, vitally important creatures on earth. If you are wondering why some care so much about animals, let me explain why. Some people think animals are a lower life form, and place an animal’s life as not important enough to be humane to. Science has proven that animals certainly do have emotion, they feel pain, and they feel everything that their nervous systems are capable of. If you hit a Tiger, it feels the pain, if you tie up an elephant it is in great despair. The same goes for all creatures. Imagine what the Surabaya Zoo animals feel. A simple example of why some people care so much about animals is simply imagine if there were none. Imagine a day that you did not see another bird in the sky or fish in the sea. We must care. We must be humane.
Some of the animals of Surabaya Zoo have come from outside countries and trust was laid in Surabaya Zoo that these animals would be cared for correctly, cared for like they were your own precious children, yes cared for like your own precious child.
But the sorrow that is raining down from Surabaya Zoo is tearing the hearts out of people from every corner of the earth.
My question to you Mayor Rismaharini, does not require you to answer in public if you do not wish to. It is a question that you must answer with honesty, integrity, and one which would define your life on this earth.
Mayor Rishmaharini, If today was the last day of your life, are you content with knowing that the world would remember you as a human being that did not care enough for the precious and innocent creatures inside Surabaya Zoo, who are there not of their own will, but of the wants of humans, and are you content with being remembered as the person who allowed the agonising pain of these animals to go on when so much help has been offered, and are you content with being remembered as the Mayor who did not care that she made the world cry desperate heartbroken tears?
In this world today, there is so much pain and suffering, towards both humans and the creatures we share our earth with. It is like so many human’s have forgotten how to be kind, to be humane.
I pray every night for you, and that you will write back to me and say “yes I will allow the aid to the Surabaya animals and staff”.
In the end, when we are all gone, and generations of our families are alive, history will always remember and teach our future relatives and people of the world, exactly what leaders actions were and there outcomes.
I will continue to pray for “Yes”
PRESS RELEASE - Lion/Lioness Hanging - A Killer in the Surabaya Zoo
8th Jan 2014
On Monday 6th January 2014, the female Lioness of Surabaya Zoo was found hanging from a snare inside of her cage.
The Lion/Lioness had lived in a dark dungeon like cage for a number of years and had displayed numerous signs of having deteriorated in a mental capacity. It is thought that this deterioration was caused by her barren and desolate environment which consisted of a cement cell.
From first report, it is likely that someone from within or connected to the Surabaya Zoo has slung the hanging noose inside its cage then awaited for her to be near enough to tighten the noose around its neck and pull it up, eventually hanging the creature.
Director of Cee4life, Sybelle Foxcroft, said "This is a shocking development. To resort to the killing of this Lion/Lioness by hanging, is something that is not only deplorable but a heavy insight into the characters in or involved or have obvious access to the Surabaya Zoo."
Foxcroft continued, " I am so shocked that I have barely any words for this heinous crime. I support the Indonesian authorities in finding those responsible and urge that the Indonesia authorities allow Cee4life and other organisations into Surabaya Zoo to help immediately with aid to the other animals and education and training to the staff."
Cee4life urges the Mayor of Surabaya and the Director of Surabaya Zoo to immediately act on this crime, apprehend those responsible and prosecute them for the murder of a protected animal.
The death of this lioness has sent shockwaves throughout conservation and animal loving community. This brutal act is highly condemned worldwide and once again the Mayor of Surabaya is urged to act and allow animal welfare, veterinarians and animal skilled specialists and professionals into the Surabaya Zoo to bring immediate aid to these suffering creatures.
We understand that some people believe and/or think of animals as lower life form, resulting in horrific abuse on animals in both captivity and in the wild. Over the years, via science and intense studies in animal welfare and behavior, it is well known and documented that animals in captivity have specific needs, have emotions and display specific behaviors when lacking any of their needs, they feel pain etc. Education is vtial ingredient in preventing the human abuse towards animals type of thought process.
With the huge amount of media on the Surabaya Zoo exposing this abuse, along with the enormous amount of aid offered to Surabaya Zoo from conservation, animal welfare and zoological organisations, and now with the obvious deliberate killing of the lioness of Surabaya Zoo, again, we urge the Indonesian Authorities, the Mayor of Surabaya, the Director of Surabaya Zoo to allow conservation, animal welfare and zoological organisations into Surabaya Zoo to aid these animals and provide education to the staff.
The hanging death of this long suffering Lion/Lioness is unacceptable in any form.
Cee4life has a current petition which will be handed into the Mayor of Surabaya in the early part of 2014. Please take a moment to sign this petition - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/460/875/313/surabaya-zoo-animal-welfare-action-cee4life/
For further information, please contact Public Officer, Donna Reynolds, firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS RELEASE - Ongoing Animal Welfare and Ethics Issues at Surabaya Zoo Indonesia and Alleged Interference of Political Figure
21st Aug 2013
Ongoing Animal Welfare and Ethics Issues at Surabaya Zoo Indonesia,
and the Alleged Interference of Politcal Figure
The Surabaya Zoo situated in Surabaya, Indonesia has a long history of high animal mortality; and animal welfare and ethics issues. It is not only the high mortality that is alarming; it is the way these creatures are dying.
Cee4life, along with many other organisations and thousands of the animal loving public worldwide, have been highly disturbed at the continuing decline and death of various species situated within the Surabaya Zoo. Some of these species includes CITES listed and critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species, which by all rights should be cared for at the highest standards.
Over the past 2 years, the situation at Surabaya Zoo has become so widely known that virtually every country in the world has reported on the situation and shown harrowing images of desperately suffering animals within the Zoo.
On further investigation into this issue, it was found that there has been an long term ongoing battle of personalities involved in the decision making at the Surabaya Zoo. The human conflict and unrest has caused those involved in the Zoo to prioritise these personal conflicts, while the zoo animals are left neglected.
This is deliberate animal cruelty.
It became very apparent that one high profile person kept appearing in every negative situation reported in the zoo.
That person is Tri Rismaharini, Mayor of Surabaya.
It is alleged that the Mayor of Surabaya has full control over the decision making of the Zoo and coerces the Zoo Director and other senior staff on Zoo decisions via utilizing her position of Mayor.
It is alarming as to why a City Council Mayor with no known zoological, wildlife biology, husbandry, animal management, animal ethics and welfare skills etc, is allegedly instrumental in the decision making of the fate of these animals.
After the emaciated images of a critically endangered female Sumatran Tiger surfaced in the media this year, the public outcry resulted in the Minister of Forests, Indonesia ordering the removal of the ailing tiger to a humane and ethical wildlife sanctuary, Taman Safari Bogor, where the Tiger finally received Veterinary aid which it desperately needed. If this critically endangered Tiger was not removed, there is no doubt it would be dead.
It is known that numerous animal welfare organisations from around the world have written to the Mayor of Surabaya and other authority Departments within the Indonesian Government, offering aid to the ailing Zoo. It is also known that virtually all correspondence has gone unanswered by the Mayors office.
It was found that a team of Vets and staff from Taman Safari Bogor have been commuting to Surabaya Zoo on a weekly basis for 3 years in an effort to upgrade the ancient and outdated 1920 designed cages of Surabaya Zoo, as unpaid volunteers. The Bogor Team were able to upgrade approximately 6 enclosures to a world class standard. In addition, the Bogor Team were able to relieve some of the overcrowding of neglected animals and relocate them to other venues.
It has also been found that the Bogor Team have faced consistent obstacles caused by the internal human conflict at Surabaya Zoo. This in turn caused the much needed upgrading to be delayed and the urgent aid to the animals to be stopped.
The Mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, has gone on record in the media and defamed the Bogor Team’s ethical work, stating that they are destroying Dutch historical heritage.
As of 21st August 2013, Cee4life has been informed that the Mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini has allegedly interfered negatively again with the positive steps which have been implemented for animal welfare and ethics at Surabaya Zoo in the following ways:
1. The Mayor is allegedly demanding that the highly ethical enclosures be returned to their former ancient, unethical low standard in the name of preserving the Dutch historical heritage.
2. The Mayor allegedly additionally wants all old and possible contaminated/poisonous 1920 building materials to be returned to their original unethical state of those cages, which is a possible breach of occupational health and safety requirements to both the animals and humans
3. The Mayor is allegedly attempting to frame the people who have helped and aided Surabaya Zoo the last 3 years for free, by saying that she wants an audit of how much money the Zoo has lost since some animals were rehomed. (The dying and sick and overcrowded animals which were rehomed)
4. The Mayor is allegedly indicating she wants the rehomed and stress alleviated animals to be returned to Surabaya Zoo.
5. The Mayor has allegedly reinstated a previously dismissed Veterinarian at Surabaya Zoo, and made them into the Operations Director of the Zoo. This Operations Director has allegedly defamed the Bogor Team on the ethical changes
6. The Operations Director has allegedly accused both Bogor Team and the Indonesian Zoo Association of using the issue of the poisoned formalin tainted meat, to change the meat supplier, so they could receive money from the new suppliers.
7. The Zoo Director and Mayor have allegedly made it known that the Bogor Team are no longer welcome to aid the animals in the zoo
8. The Mayor of Surabaya has allegedly written false statements and reports regarding the ethical upgrading of works, which has then been filtered through to the Vice President, the Minister of Internal Affairs and other high ranking Government officials, causing these high level authorities of Indonesia to receive severely inaccurate information and the truth being hidden.
9. The Mayor of Surabaya has allegedly utilised local media to distort the facts and truth.
As a result, it is alleged that the Mayor of Surabaya is deliberately sabotaging all efforts to implement animal ethics and welfare in Surabaya Zoo.
The reason for this is currently unknown, other than petty personal dislikes of various people and professionals, however there has been information supplied regarding alleged plans to level the zoo and turn it into real estate infrastructure of some kind.
Cee4life visited the Surabaya Zoo and saw the work that the Bogor Team have done in Surabaya Zoo along with the ancient and unethical 1920 cages. The Bogor Teams work is nothing short of the highest standards of ethical care in Asia, and some of these enclosures are on par with the best zoo’s enclosures in the world. To have this work destroyed and returned back to the ancient out-dated and highly unethical cells of 1920, in the name of historical heritage, displays a severe lacking of any animal ethics and welfare knowledge.
It is recommended that the allegations against the Mayor of Surabaya are investigated immediately by the Department of Forestry and therefore in accordance with an investigation, that the Mayor of Surabaya is terminated from all decision making authority related to the Surabaya Zoo, until these allegations are thoroughly investigated.
It is recommended that all advisors, workers, etc from the Mayors office also be terminated from influencing or advising the staff of Surabaya Zoo until these allegations are thoroughly investigated.
It is recommended that the Bogor Team is permitted to continue their humane and ethical work of upgrading of the Zoo.
It is recommended that a professional human resource officer who is non-biased and non-related to the Surabaya Zoo issue, be allocated to oversee the internal human conflict at the Surabaya Zoo and any other person connected to the Zoo, and to end this human conflict utilising the full powers of a human resources officer.
It is recommended that only one historical cage is kept as a reminder of how little humans knew of the captive care of animals in 1920, and promoting the upgraded enclosures which the Bogor Team have started, to be an example of the positive humane care that is now known in the present days.
It is recommended that all surviving animals be cared for at the highest level and immediate thorough Veterinary checks be implemented by qualified professional Veterinarians and over seen by the Bogor Team.
It is recommended that any ailments found in those Veterinary checks be immediately dealt with and over seen by the Bogor Team.
It is recommended that all aid which numerous conservation organisations around the world have offered, for both animal welfare and education, to Surabaya Zoo, seriously considered alleviating and hastening these ethical and educational changes.
No matter what the circumstances are of Surabaya Zoo, a positive can be achieved. Human indifference has and always will exist as long as humans exist, however when these personal conflicts negatively affect creatures that humans are deemed to care for, therefore there is no choice but to remove the main offenders who are provoking and encouraging the negative situation.
No one wants to see emaciated, sick and starving animals on the front page of newspapers and media. It gives the conservation and animal welfare professionals around the world, no joy to address these types of situations at such a public level.
Communication on this issue is highly encouraged.
Surabaya Zoo - Presentation of the Petition for the Implementation of Ethical Care in Surabaya Zoo, INDONESIA.
27th Jul 2013
On the 23rd July 2013, Cee4life Director, Sybelle Foxcroft, attended the Mayor of Surabaya, Indonesian office in the city of Surabaya. After trying to contact the Mayors office for an appointment for over 3 weeks without success, Sybelle Foxcroft accompanied by translator Dee Dee Prior, presented themselves at the Mayors office in Surabaya in an effort to get the petition to the Mayor and to discuss the situation of Surabaya Zoo.
Mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rishmaharini, photo courtesy of SWA Magazine (http://swamagazine.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/management-ibu-walikota-pun-turun-ke.html)
Cee4life had been informed earlier that other people, organisations, and professionals had attempted to make appointments with the Mayor in regard to Surabaya Zoo, however the Mayor declined to see them or was always unavailable.
The Mayor was unavailable again on the 23rd July 2013.
Sybelle Foxcroft states, "Knowing that I would not see the Mayor in person this time, I prepared a letter for the Mayor to read and attached a USB memory stick with the 100 000+ signed petition, along with a copy of the letter. We were determined to get this to the Mayor. Dee dee and myself then went to the guards desk where we were directed to another office, which directed us to another office, and so on. Finally, we were able to give the letter and the USB to the Mayors reception and mail distributor. We were given a receipt with delivery number which we are able to follow up on if we do not hear back from Mayor Rishmaharini".
Cee4life will continue to follow this through until we reach the Mayor and get a personal appointment.
The following is the letter handed into the Mayors Office.
Melani - the Sumatran Tiger from Surabaya Zoo - Her Story
26th Jul 2013
Melani’s Story – (pronounced – Mel-arrni) Melani was born in 1998 and was hand raised by a variety of keepers at Surabaya Zoo. As Melani grew older and the zoo’s internal conflict increased, the care of the Surabaya animals decreased. One of the things that occurred was the buying of low quality meat for the tigers. All of the tigers became extremely ill. Throughout 2010 and 2011, the media reported on “starving tigers” dying at Surabaya Zoo. This in fact was caused by the tigers, including Melani, that ate the tainted and basically poisonous meat diet. The meat was found to have formaldehyde in it, which is an automatic killer. The formaldehyde caused horrific internal decay of vital organs and stomach linings. Once the source of the problem was found, the source of this tainted meat was stopped, and untainted meat was introduced. However it was too late for the other tigers and they all died in excruciating pain. Melani continued to fight to live but she was in a tragic condition.
Dr Sumampau of Taman Safari in Bogor, Indonesia, tried to introduce extra nutritional elements to Melani’s diet, however the staff at Surabaya Zoo who “did not like” Dr Sumampau refused and rebelled against his advice, and Melani continued to suffer.
In June 2013, after wide media reports on the frail Melani, the Minister of Forests, ordered that Melani be removed from Surabaya Zoo and taken for treatment to Taman Safari, Bogor, Indonesia.
Melani was to begin her move to Taman Safari in Bogor, however her transport arrangements were haulted after Dr Sumampau found out she would be transported in the back of a normal truck. Melani’s condition was so frail that she could neither be flown due to the altitude that would cause probable death, nor could she travel by road in a normal truck as the humidity would kill her.
Dr Sumampau arranged an air-conditioned vehicle for Melani to be transported. So over a 20 hour period, Melani arrived at Taman Safari in Bogor.
On her arrival on the 25th June 2013, she was diagnosed as severely dehydrated and there was fear she would die within hours. But this dear girl hung on. She was placed on intravenous drips which rehydrated her and supplied her with the much needed vitamin supplements that she had been missing from her diet for so long. In addition, her diet was completely changed and which included minced meat for easier digestion, formula of nutrition and vitamin supplements, carnivore supplements and more. Melani underwent blood testing and other testing to determine her organ functions. She was dangerously low in weight, at 48kg.
Note: A healthy female Sumatran Tiger weighs at least 75kg – 120kg. Melani was on deaths door.
The blood test and function test results were processed at the Taman Safari Veterinary Hospital, and the results were shocking. Melani’s liver and kidney tests were so low, that she should have been dead. But again, she hung on for her life. This is a tiger that wants to live.
By 11th July 2013, Melani had gained 7kg, and now weighed in at 55kg. By 22nd July 2013, Melani was 58kg.
The years of neglect that Melani has endured along with the horrific damage done to her internal organs has resulted in the fact that Melani will never gain full health again. Her condition is chronic and she is being maintained. However, forever the fighter, she continues to survive and increase in her weight.
Another strange fact arose from Melani’s arrival at Taman Safari. In all of the earlier pictures of Melani she is extremely dark, nearly black in colour. This is highly unusual for a tiger.
On viewing Melani on the 22nd July 2013, the one thing that struck me first, was Melani was more “orange” and fluffy. I asked about this and found out the following. When Melani arrived it was noticed that she was covered in a thick black oily substance.
The Vets at Taman Safari bathed Melani, and the black oil began to leave her fur. Melani has now been bathed a number of times and she continues to lose the black oily substance, and becoming cleaner. Even when I was stroking her, my hand became coated with a fine black oil. It had a very strong smell to it however I cannot place the smell.
If you look at the 2 photographs above you will notice that in the older picture of Melani at Surabaya Zoo, there is black oil on the walls and on the path she has walked on the floor with her paws. This is disgraceful.
At this time it is still unknown what type of oil has caused this, however it is being tested and I will let you know when I know.
In conclusion, Melani is still an incredibly frail girl. She is being kept in the hospital for now as she is highly prone to pneumonia and she is watched 24/7 including on CCTV cameras. She could go either way at this time. The cage that you see her in, in recent pictures, is not her “real” cage but it is a holding cage which enables the ongoing treatment of her.
In the hospital, there are also some little Orangutans, so when Melani is walking around in the hospital, staff have to really keep an eye on her as she goes up to the Orangutans to have a look and they attempt to reach out to this frail girl. Orangutans could cause some real injury on Melani, so these “outings” are closely monitored of course.
I have offered to help assist with Melani’s upkeep and veterinary care. If you can help with this please donate towww.wildlifecalling.org.uk and clearly mark the donation as Melani Cee4life. We will get all donations to her and we will film and photograph everything and continue to report on her progress.
When I met her, I can tell you that she is the most gentle girl. As she was raised by humans, she loves to get affection. Something she did miss out on a lot at Surabaya. I cannot express to you the incredibly blissful way that she reacted to human affection. It was like utter bliss to her, she chuffed and rubbed closely and was content.
I will be travelling there again over time to see her and the other rescued tigers at Taman Safari that are survivors from attempted poaching incidents. In addition, Cee4life has offered our assistance at Surabaya Zoo for training and education to staff. We are awaiting the confirmation of that, and I will post more about this soon.
Thankyou so very much for your ongoing support, it is greatly appreciated.
Stay with us on this journey for animal welfare and ethical care of the Surabaya Animals.
Sybelle Foxcroft – Director Cee4life – www.cee4life.org
Summary of Cee4lifes campaign for the animal welfare issues at Surabaya Zoo, Indonesia, and the current situation with the female tiger Melani
17th Jul 2013
SUMMARY OF CEE4LIFE’S CAMPAIGN FOR THE ANIMAL WELFARE ISSUES AT SURABAYA ZOO, AND SITUATION WITH FEMALE SUMATRAN TIGER, MELANI
Cee4life has been in communications with Indonesian authorities in regard to the numerous and increasing deaths of the animals of Surabaya Zoo, Indonesia.
Numerous local and international media outlets have documented the alleged ongoing neglect of these animals over the last few years. Shocking images and articles on the high mortality rate have caused outrage, and further it is the way and causes of death that is of serious concern.
The horrific death of a Giraffe in 2012, found with its stomach full of plastic bags. Kliwon, a 30 year old Giraffe who collapsed in March 2012 and died soon after collapse. It was found that Kliwon had over 20kg of plastic bags inside the intestines and stomach. Please see - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/surabaya-zoo-indonesia-giraffe_n_1340941.html
Multiple animals within the zoo have died due to various conditions, and seems to be a direct result from neglect and lack of understanding on the correct and ethical care of these creatures.
More recently, a critically endangered CITES Appendix 1 female Sumatran tiger , named Melani, who by all accounts should have been cared for at the highest standards, was nearing death.
Cee4life created a petition to support those that have been trying to aid the Surabaya animals whilst dealing with many obstacles. The petition can be found here - http://www.thepetitionsite.com/330/792/006/stop-the-deliberate-cruelty-of-surabaya-zoo-animals/
The sad sight of the near emaciated tiger Melani has caused worldwide outcry and the demand for immediate aid to her. The cause of Melani's condition was as follows : Melani was fed an incorrect diet of chemical laced food which destroyed her internal organs and intestines. The chemical, Formalin otherwise known as Formaldehyde was ingested by Melani after being fed meat which was tainted by this chemical. Formaldehyde is highly toxic to all animals, regardless of method of intake. Ingestion of as little as 30 mL (1 oz.) of a solution containing 37% formaldehyde has been reported to cause death in an adult human. This toxic meat was fed to Melani at Surabaya Zoo and although this was stopped over 3 years ago, serious damaged was caused to Melani’s stomach and internal organs.
On the 25th of June, Melani was finally moved to the Taman Safari in Jakarta where she has under gone a veterinary assessment including bloodwork, organ function testing, measurements and other investigative tests.
On arrival at Taman Safari, Melani was a dangerously low 48kg. Melani’s diet was enhanced to include supplemental vitamins and minerals, and a diet to aid her extremely sensitive internal condition. Since arrival at Taman Safari, as of 11th July 2013, Melani weighs in at 55 kg, and continues to improve.
It is obvious that her care and handling at Taman Safari is greatly aiding this girls journey to better health. However, due to Melani’s years of internal troubles, it is believed by Veterinarian staff that Melani’s lifespan has been shortened but again, Melani is now 15 years old, and she is improving against all odds.
A representative from Cee4life will be on the ground in Indonesia to see Melani, and to find out how she and the other animals of Surabaya Zoo can be aided.
We invite you to stay with us on this journey.
If you can support us, please go to Wildlife Calling Charity http://www.wildlifecalling.org.uk/index.php for all donations. For any sponsorship please contact Donna Reynolds on email@example.com or Sybelle Foxcroft on firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow us on Cee4life's main Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cee4life.org and Cee4life's Surabaya Zoo page at https://www.facebook.com/SurabayaZooAnimalWelfareActionCee4life
We will update again soon
Thankyou for your support.
From all at Cee4life