The Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) in Bali says that zoos and conservation centers here on the island can still manage to afford animal feed, following a national survey that suggests that animals living in Indonesian zoos may starve to death due to temporary closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prawono Meruanto, an official from BKSDA Bali, told Kumparan today that his office is closely monitoring zoos across the island, including Bali Zoo and Bali Bird Park, to ensure that the animals are healthy, moving regularly and well-fed.
“No one is [currently] facing financial difficulty to feed the animals. Furthermore, the animal feed is fairly easy to procure around Bali, and only a few need to be sent from outside of the island,” Prawono was quoted as saying.
A survey conducted by the Indonesian Zoo Association (PKBSI) showed that 92 percent of the association’s members — which comprises zoos located in Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok and Borneo — only have enough animal feed for another month, while around five percent can only manage for another one to three months.
Zoos across the country and around the world are closed to the public due to the coronavirus outbreak. Without steady income from visitors, some are reportedly spread thin to provide the animals with regular meals.
Prawono acknowledges that should the situation with COVID-19 continue as it is, zoos might be forced to reduce the feed portion after the month of May. BKSDA Bali says they are planning to hold a meeting with Bali’s zoos and conservation centers to discuss the matter.
“This is just a prediction, but we hope it won’t drag on. When the finances are reduced there will be a reduction in the feed portion,” Prawono said.
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