AP PHOTOS: Animals at closed zoo depend on helping hands

May 7, 2020 GMT

MEDAN, Indonesia (AP) — The sound of the sea eagle breaks the silence between the iron cages at Medan Zoo in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province. It has been more than a month since the zoo closed and restricted visitors as part of efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The number of people visiting the 260 animals has dropped from 3,000 a day since the outbreak started in January to 300 until it finally closed. With no income to buy food for the animals, the management appealed for outside help.

The response came through the delivery of fruits, vegetables and meat. Papayas, bananas, water spinach, cucumbers and other vegetables are unloaded every day from donation trucks.


Children drop coins in a donation box. Within two weeks, assistance came not only from Medan but other cities and as far as Singapore.

Other Indonesian zoos offered food, and money was being transferred into the Medan Zoo account.

Meanwhile, the zoo has become home to stray cats.

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Only employees taking care of the animals report to work every day, their number cut in half.

Veterinarians have taken up cleaning the cages. They make sure the sun bears and orangutans get their supply of fruits and tigers meat, and that no animal goes hungry.