The Conservation Institution has issued a decision requiring the management of the Surabaya Zoo to comply with Law No. 5/1990 on the conservation of biological resources and ecosystem.
“I have handed a decision from the Conservation Institution to the Surabaya mayor (on Aug 18) with regard to Surabaya Zoo. So, I no longer owe to Surabaya. Under the decision, the zoo will serve as an education, recreation, and animal conservation center. Therefore, the zoo must not be managed like in the past,” Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan announced at a seminar on conservation at the campus C of the Surabaya-based Airlangga University (Unair) on Monday.
Therefore, the cages for all the animals must be made in such a way that the animals should feel as comfortable as in their natural habitat, he noted.
The animals must also be fed properly according to Law No. 5/1990, he pointed out.
“Any instance of violation of law or death to an animal will attract a punishment of 5-10 years’ imprisonment for the management,” he said.
He noted that he had received many angry tweets warning about the death of any animal in the zoo through twitter from Surabaya residents.
“I do not consider myself a good forestry minister. I am, however, proud that the Surabaya residents care about the zoo,” he added.
Meanwhile, Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini has rejected a plan to raise Surabaya zoo admission ticket to Rp25 thousand from Rp15 thousand previously.
“The zoo is not profit-oriented. Besides from the city budget, the zoo can earn income from advertisements,” she said here on Tuesday.
The mayor said the zoo must remain a low-cost recreational spot for Surabaya residents. Thus, it must not earn money in the way how other regional government-owned companies did.
The city administration had been prepared to bear all operating expenses of the zoo since it took over the management of the zoo in mid 2013, she said.
She said the city government had set aside Rp52 billion in funds to finance the operation of the zoo. The funds would be disbursed in stages, with Rp10 billion of its to be disbursed this year.
A number of parties had expressed readiness to cooperate with the management of the zoo particularly in feeding animals. The cooperation would of course reduce the operating expenses, she said.
Surabaya Zoo President Director Ratna Achjuningrum said the operating cost which reached an average Rp1.7 billion a year was too high. In contrast, the zoo earned Rp1.6 billion a year.