Zoo Negara Malaysia: Stop Cruel Treatment of Orangutans and Chimps

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Zoo Negara, Malaysia's most popular zoo, has been keeping a dirty secret for many years - housing orangutans and chimpanzees in cruel conditions which may also be abusive.

The zoo, which opened in 1963, is in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur and is a current member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). In 2019 it was reported that the zoo was under investigation by the Malaysian anti-corruption authorities.

In late 2018 we contacted the zoo to question the keeping of chimps and several orangutans in tiny cells during the zoo's closing hours after photos were revealed to us. We estimate that these apes are kept in the cramped cells longer than they are allowed into an enclosure as the zoo is closed between 5.00 pm and 9.00 am the day after. It is unknown if all of them get a chance to be outdoors daily.

This means the apes may spend over 12 hours daily in conditions which may also be detrimental to their psychological wellbeing. However, till this day the zoo has not announced any action to provide acceptable, spacious living conditions to allow the apes to live comfortably and display natural behaviours. In the meantime, millions of dollars have been spent on the zoo's pandas, who were imported from China in 2014.

In January 2020 we asked the zoo and the Wildlife Department of Malaysia (PERHILITAN) if the manner in which the apes are kept abides by wildlife laws in Malaysia. Neither has addressed this concern.

Great apes are highly intelligent animals and they can suffer when mistreated. Sign and share this petition to demand that Zoo Negara urgently takes action to provide the orangutans and chimps with the life they deserve.

We also believe that great apes do not belong in captivity and captive breeding of great apes needs to stop.