Close Surabaya Zoo
  • Petitioning Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

This petition will be delivered to:

President of Indonesia
Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Canberra Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
Consulate-General of the Republic of Indonesia
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Director General, Forest Protection & Nature Conservation
Mr Ir. Darori
Sydney Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
Consulate-General of the Republic of Indonesia (Sydney Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia)
Indonesian Embassy / Consulate / High Commission Office for America
H.E. Mr. Drs. Hasan kleib, M.A (Indonesian Embassy / Consulate / High Commission Office for America)
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia - Washington D.C.
H.E. Mr. Dr. dino Patti Djalal, M.A (Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia - Washington D.C.)

Close Surabaya Zoo

    1. Petition by

      Trevor Buchanan

      Sydney, Australia

Surabaya Zoo, also known as Kebun Binatang Surabaya (KBS), was founded in 1916 and is the one of the largest zoos in South East Asia, covering 37 acres and housing over 350 species. The zoo has fallen into disrepute over the last few years with widespread allegations of mistreatment, corruption, and uncontrolled breeding. Many of the animals cared for at KBS live in pitiable conditions, some are highly endangered species. This must stop.

The Zoo states there are 2,800 animals living there, other reports put the number at closer to 4,000. The mistreatment of the animals started to attract widespread condemnation in 2010. In that year, the Jakarta Post labelled KBS as the Surabaya "Zoo of Death".  In the same year the Forestry Ministry revoked Surabaya Zoo’s license after many animal deaths including rare species such as Sumatran tigers, Komodo Dragons, lions and crocodiles.

East Java Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) conducted an investigation, which found that negligent keepers were to blame for most of the animal deaths. It is alleged that zookeepers are stealing meat which they sell to the black market. Also that animals are being stolen by the zookeepers and also sold.

The zoo does not have the cashflow needed to feed, house and breed the animals in it's care. Entry is less than US$2.00 per person. It does not generate enough. Subsequently, the animals are maltreated and underfed. The zoo is unable to separate breeding animals, so breeding is out of control. For example, nearly 200 pelicans inhabit a filthy enclosure the size of a basketball court. They do not have the room to move their wings.

A giraffe that died that was found to have an 18kg ball of plastic in it's stomach, It had been living off food thrown to it by vistors, such as candy bars, which often still had the wrapper on it.

Tigers are kept locked in small concrete cells because they do not have enough room to exercise. They are allowed out of their damp cells for only 3 days for every 10 they are locked up.  Some animals have chronic long term back and leg complaints because they cannot exercise.  Many have wasting digestive diseases from eating tainted meat.

Some animals are being moved and their condition is improving, however even during their movement they are still being abused by KBS staff.  When the zoo relocated several hippopotami, the animals were physically beaten and injured during the process. 

We call on the honourable President, Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to mandate the following 5 actions immediately:

1) Close Surabaya zoo permanently and dismiss the management.  Hire reputable, qualified staff to engage in the immediate care of the animals.  

2) Increase funding and security to ensure all animals receive the proper diet, and medical attention necessary.

3) For any animal where rehabilitation is feasible to the point where the animal could survive in the wild, rehabilitation must take place under the direction of qualified experts, so that they can be released back into the wild.

4) Any animals with incurable, degenerative conditions, and that are in significant pain must be humanely euthanized based on the recommendation of veterinary experts.

5) Commission an enquiry with the view to identify the causes of the conditions and the zoo, and the prosecution of those responsible for the state of the animals.  

Please act - the world is watching.

Reference sites:

Recent signatures


    1. One third of a million

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Hi all, we have one third of a million signatures, how amazing is that? We need the other 2 thirds. Let's make this so big they cannot continue to ignore it. Share this petition with your friends and contacts, spread it far and wide. Thanks to each of you for your support. Let's close this zoo!

      Here is a review for the Zoo from Trip Advisor April 12:

      The animals are undernourished, they just have skin and bones.. It's horrible!!! This zoo must be shut down. And the government does nothing to help these animals! Sometimes, Humanity disgusts me so much. So please, don't go spend your money in this awful zoo! Don't take part in this that!!

    2. Reached 300,000 signatures
    3. New management "Just as incompetent" - Jakarta Globe

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      The new management is just as incompetent as the previous management, according to this article in the Jarkarta Globe:

      "The source said the Forestry Ministry had told the Surabaya administration to get rid of the employees affiliated with any of the sides squabbling for control of the zoo, but that this had not been done because the current management, appointed by the mayor, was just as incompetent when it came to wildlife management.

      “I have proof of one of the current managers saying that they did not understand how to arrange the animal enclosures or cages,” the source said."

      Permit to Run Surabaya Zoo Still In Doubt

      Surabaya. Officials at Surabaya Zoo remain confident they will soon get the wildlife conservation permit they need in order to complete the city administration's takeover of the management of the facility, more than three weeks after the Forestry Ministry promised to issue it.

    4. Contact the Mayor

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Hi, if you want to please contact the Mayor of Surabaya directly and let her know that the Zoo must close & that the world is watching.

      Ms Tri Rismaharini
      Mayor of Surabaya Pacar
      Street No. 8
      Surabaya 60272

    5. In depth article by Keith Bradsher of NY Times

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Hi, this excellent article highlights the problems at Surabaya Zoo. The finger pointing continues, and the animals are collateral damage.

    6. 200k Signatures

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      We now have 200,000 people calling for closure. The deaths continue under new management. Anoa are extremely rare, there are less than 5,000 left. They can live to 25 years of age.

    7. Reached 200,000 signatures
    8. Another death at the zoo

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer
      Komodo dragon dies at Indonesian 'death zoo' in Surabaya

      A zoo keeper found the dragon dead in its cage on Saturday morning when he came to feed the giant lizard. "I moved its tail, but it didn't respond and when I checked, its eyes were already shut," said zoo keeper Suraji, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

    9. Please visit

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Hi all could you please visit this page and raise it's profile, many thanks.

      "Zoo of Death" hits new low point - hangs lion

      The infamous Surabaya Zoo has hit a new low point, via the hanging death of a juvenile male lion with a steel cable. But this act may have finally forced the Indonesian authorities to act. The body of the lion was discovered at the zoo on the morning of January 7 th, suspended in its bleak concrete cell.

    10. Lion's death "out of legal context"

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer
      Death of Lion in Surabaya Zoo Out of Legal Context | National | Tempo.Co :: Indonesian News Portal

      An African lion and kangaroo that died in quarantine space at Surabaya Zoo. TEMPO/Fully Syafi TEMPO.CO, Surabaya - Chief of ProFauna Indonesia Institute, Rosek Nursahid, said the death of a lion in Surabaya Zoo is out of legal context, "unless the city administration or zoo management filed the case to the police for its criminal element".

    11. Zoo being handed over to Mayor's office to administrate

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer
      Forestry Minister to Hand Control of Surabaya 'Nightmare Zoo' to City's Mayor

      After years of dispute over the management of Surabaya Zoo, the central government on Tuesday said it would officially hand full authority of the controversial zoo to Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini, ensuring substantial changes in its operations and its treatment of animals.

    12. Please sign the petition in this link

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer
      Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare... - The Petition Site

      The severe case of the horrendous neglect of the Surabaya Zoo animals in Indonesia has been tediously... (13711 signatures on petition)

    13. Lion hanged at Surabaya Zoo

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Hi all just a warning, the images in this story are very disturbing. A young lion has been hanged at the Zoo of Death, the 4th reported death in the first weeks of 2014:

      GRAPHIC: Lion Found Hanging In Its Cage At Infamous The 'Zoo Of Death'

      Horrifying images have emerged from an infamous zoo in Indonesia dubbed the 'Zoo of Death,' showing a dead lion hanging in its cage. Michael the lion's emaciated body was found tangled in steel cables used to protect keepers at the Surabaya City Zoo.

    14. Reached 150,000 signatures
    15. Please visit these sites

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Here is the the Cee4Life FB page, they are heroic in their battle to save the animals at Surabaya Zoo and congrats on the ABC Foreign Correspondent show:

      Also, please sign all petitions listed by Mmeow, a dedicated animal lover and blogger:

    16. Please sign this new petition

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Hi all, please also sign this petition:

      Dian is asking the Indonesian Government to establish a National Commission for the protection of all animals in Indonesia. This will help the animals of Surabaya Zoo along with other wild, farmed and domestic animals.

      Presiden @SBYudhoyono: Segera Bentuk Komnas Perlindungan Hewan!

      Masih ingat kan di tahun 2011 kita dihebohkan dengan video pembantaian orangutan di Kalimantan? Nyawa orangutan terancam karena terusir dari hutan dan...

    17. Meeting did not achieve results

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Hello all, unfortunately the meeting with the Forestry Minister did not go well. We failed to gain any firm commitment from the Minister to address this situation. So we just have to keep going, keep shining the spotlight on this situation until they act.

    18. Very exciting news

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Hello all,

      Tomorrow (July 23rd) at 2:00pm Indonesian time, we have an appointment at the office of the Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan.

      Change.Org has helped to facilitate this meeting. At the meeting our petition letter and our signatures will be presented to the Minister. Please stay tuned this is a significant development.

    19. Please Email this address

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Tell them to shut the zoo:

      Visit East Java : is The Real Tropical Country of Indonesia Tourism

      Find on here : Thousand Pictures of Indonesian Objects Tourism, also find many interest places for Vacation and Business, Hotel Accomodation, Tours attraction and more.

    20. Good article

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      This interesting article explains the stand-off between the city and the management, and hints that maybe a solution is coming. There is another good article about the Mayor being embarrassed by the negative global publicity the zoo now receives...all due to you guys.

    21. Thank you

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Just a quick note to thank you for what you have done. Each of us has a voice, when they are joined together they have no choice but to listen.

    22. Some good and bad news

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      Hi the good news is that, some animals have been rescued and are improving now they are away from the hell-hole: "Melani is 15 years old. When she left Surabaya Zoo on 25th June 2013, she was a dangerously low 48kg. Now, as of 11th July, while being cared for at Taman Safari, she has put on weight and is know at 55kg. This is a wonderful sign and obviously the proper care she is receiving is such an incredible outcome for this lovely girl."

      The bad news is that the barbaric KBS staff are still abusing animals. They used violence on endangered pygmy hippos when they moved them in secret recently: "Four endangered two tailed hippos were moved suddenly. They are being sent to Pematangsiantar Zoo, North Sumatra. The hippos were moved by force including violence, and 4 people were seriously injured. Dozens of officers beat the hippopotamus and wounded them quite badly."

      This zoo needs to close, no second chances.

    23. Please Email

      Trevor Buchanan
      Petition Organizer

      How is this for amazing? I contacted WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and asked them what they were doing about Surabaya Zoo. Here is what they said

      "The Association is acting as the temporary management team of the zoo in order to improve the diet, especially for carnivores and is also working on improvements of exhibits."

      Then I sent another Email, and asked who was doing this from WAZA, and what are their qualifications. This is the response:

      No staff paid by WAZA is working at Surabaya Zoo



      So please Email WAZA and tell them you are pissed that they are doing nothing. Email :

    24. Reached 100,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • max hayes CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
      • 5 minutes ago

      i hate animal cruelty

      • 15 minutes ago

      Los animales tienen que vivir en libertad.

    • Maverick Campbell GRANBURY, TX
      • 18 minutes ago

      I love animals and the abuse disgusts me

      • 26 minutes ago

      Animals should be healthy and free.

      • 29 minutes ago

      You don't treat anymals like there and you respect them.


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