Surabaya Zoo

Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action and Education Program

25th Jun 2014


For the last several years, Cee4life has endeavoured to engage various foreign governments and organisations to allow us to provide educational programs that are open to the general public, staff of the venues, governmental agencies and schools.   Via media  the public is flooded with various negative images of animals, some of which seem  in hopeless situations.  One such venue was the Surabaya Zoo of Indonesia.   What Cee4life did was to engage the Surabaya Zoo in communications and then get the permission to allow us to attempt to aid.  We have now been working within the Surabaya Zoo educating in a variety of subjects such as, animal welfare, environement issues of Indonesia, humanity, the negatives of rascim and the need for us to work in a united effort.   For the last year, Cee4life has aided Surabaya Zoo with  animal welfare, correct dietary needs, and now have approval to upgrade the enclosures of the Zoo.   We assisted with the rescue of the Tigress, Melani, and have been given permission to aid all the animals.  Without education to explain why these things are needed for the animals, then it becomes useless.  Cee4life has now been asked to implement and train personal in Surabaya Zoo for 3 - 6  months, where of course we will continue to monitor this.  We have also got permission and people ready to go with the upgrade of the elephant enclosure, but still need funding for the various other enclosures, such as the lioness's , the otters, the bears etc.

Because of the amazing success with the education program, we have now been asked to implement the same programs in other areas of the world, which we will look at in the future.  This education of a very humane kind is aiding to change the view on animals around the world bit by bit by educating on each species and what they need to survive, and why we need to ensure they are respected and humanely treated whether they are in the wild or in captivity.  Cee4life is endeavouring to teach humans to be humane, and by doing that, we make our world open to vast education which in turn saves species, both plant and animal, which we humans need in order for our own survival. 

How will this make a difference? - When Cee4life was providing an educational event which included powerpoint presentations and question/answer period which was followed by a walk around the zoo to identify what they had learnt. We were able to show people who had never seen a wild animal before in their natural environment.  Many thought that a zoo is only where animals live.  When they were showed the reality of what actually occurs there was a quiet sorrow. But then we gave hope of how all of this beauty can be saved, and in conclusion, those 300 people, who knew nothing before, learnt how to care for the environment, how to pick up our rubbish, they learnt to forever protect what is left of the precious creatures, and they learnt that what you do on one part of the earth, effects another section of the earth. There are now an extra 300 educated people walking this earth in a 3rd world country, doing all they can, will the little they have.  Cee4life will always continue to aid them in both education and in humanitarian issues when possible.

In order to keep this education and animal aid program going and expanding, we need the funding to do so.

If you can help us, please go to this link on the Cee4life website to find out all ways which you can help - or you can also donate via and via our lovely friends in the UK, Wildlife Calling Charity -

Education is vitally important in order to conserve wildlife and to humanely care for animals in captive environments.




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 Lion death in Surabaya, hung by a noose, and the visual images, 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 another dreadful animal death 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”



Sybelle Foxcroft

Director Cee4life


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 a translator  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 (

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. We 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 and Sybelle Foxcroft (Cee4life Director) at Taman Safari Bogor Indonesia. Copyright Cee4life 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. 

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.  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 –

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





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.

For example:

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 -

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 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.  

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 immensely, 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 for all donations.  For any sponsorship please contact Donna Reynolds on or Sybelle Foxcroft on

You can also follow us on Cee4life's main Facebook page at  and  Cee4life's Surabaya Zoo page at

We will update again soon

Thankyou for your support.

From all at Cee4life