Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The Medan Zoo in North Sumatra launched a donation campaign on Monday in the hopes of covering its operational budget and supplying food for animals in the park, which has seen a large drop in income due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The zoo's management said the facility had produced zero income since it was closed to the public on March 23 due to COVID-19.
"All animals in the Medan Zoo are in danger of dying from hunger. We don't have enough money to buy them food," the zoo's head of the publication division, Aini Chaniago, said on Monday.
Though no animals in the zoo have died of starvation, Aini raised concerns about this happening soon if the current situation remained the same.
"We launched the campaign for a coin donation today to help the animals at Medan Zoo," Aini said.
The zoo has raised at least Rp 1 million (US$64.52) since the initiative was launched.
The management teams of zoos across the country are scrambling to produce the funds needed to afford animal food. With the coronavirus having forced zoos to halt operations, zoo incomes have plummeted, putting thousands of animals at risk of famine.
According to a survey by the Indonesian Zoo Association (PKBS), 92 percent of the association's members in Java, Sumatra, Lombok, Bali and Borneo – 55 zoos – only have enough food to feed their animals until mid-May.
The survey shows that three zoos would be able to provide food for one to three months, while two have enough for more than three months.
City-owned developer (PD) Pembangunan Kota Medan, which manages the Medan Zoo, said the facility needed around Rp 3 million daily to feed some 270 animals, including 16 endangered Sumatran tigers.
In addition to the coin donation campaign, PD Pembangunan Kota Medan has received financial assistance from the city's regional working units (SKPD) and regional lender Bank Sumut, amounting to Rp 32 million and Rp 25 million respectively.
The zoo also received 200 chickens to feed its carnivores at the Gembira Loka Zoo in Yogyakarta.
"All of the donations will be directly channeled to the zoo to feed the poor animals," PD Pembangunan Kota Medan president director Putrama Alkhairi said, adding that none of the funds from the city budget were allocated for the zoo's operational fund. (vny)