Yogya zookeeper stole food money meant for tigers, used it to buy motorcycles while animals starved

Surabaya’s infamous ”zoo of death” is unfortunately not the only Indonesian zoo where some animals are being abused and horribly treated. On Saturday, less than two weeks after a rare Sumatran tiger died at the Surabaya Zoo, a zookeeper at the Gembira Loka Zoo in Yogyakarta was arrested for stealing the funds meant to buy food for the facility’s five tigers, starving the animals so he could spend the money on himself.

Police say the zookeeper, a 37-year-old man, identified by his initials SG, had been stealing Rp 3 million in meat money each week from June 2015 until February 2016.

“In total, up to the month of February 2016, it is suspected that he embezzled as much as Rp 90 million in money meant to purchase goat meat [for the tigers],” Yogyakarta Police Inspector Edi Subekti told Kompas on Wednesday.

The tigers were supposed to be given 17 kg of goat twice a week, but SG pocketed most of money, reducing their meals to only 5 kg instead.

Police said the corrupt zookeeper spent that money on buying two motorcycles for himself, as well as putting down payments on a car.

One of the tiger handlers became suspicious when he noticed that the tigers were losing a lot of weight and hair. He then noticed the lack of goat meat at the feedings, leading him to report SG to the police, who arrested him on Saturday. 

SG is currently in police custody and could face up to four years in jail for embezzlement.

Zoo officials said they are hoping to reverse the tigers malnutrition by getting them back on a regular feeding schedule and giving them extra vitamins. If that’s not enough, maybe they should just feed SG to the tigers instead. 

(Just kidding, we’re not seriously suggesting they feed a person to the tigers, but damn this story really infuriates us to no end…)

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