Jakarta. A deer was found dead at the Surabaya's "nightmare zoo" on Thursday morning, just a week after the death of a rare Bengal tiger prompted renewed calls to shutter the notorious facility.
A zoo keeper found the dead body of an 8-year-old doe in its cage at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday. An autopsy was performed on its remains later the same day.
"Its stomach became swollen, causing pressure [to build] on its lungs and heart," Liang Kaspe, the operational director of the zoo, told Indonesia news portal Tempo.co on Thursday, citing the autopsy results.
She explained that the deer's lungs were red-colored, and that foam was found in its throat.
"Those [symptoms] are not indications of poisoning," Liang said.
The veterinarian blamed bad weather for the death, saying torrential rains had soaked the grass fed to the deer. Wet grass, Liang said, can cause excess gas to build up in the deer's stomach.
Earlier in the day, zoo spokesman Agus Supangkat said, citing a keeper, that the deer had looked "healthy and normal" the day before.
The death of the deer came just a week after a 17-year-old white Bengal tiger was found dead, reportedly due to pneumonia and old age.
Tony Sumampou, head caretaker of Taman Safari park in Bogor, West Java, though, pointed out that the zoo was to blame in that death because it did not immediately take the tiger to a clinic when it became ill. Liang admitted this was the case.
Tony criticized the Surabaya Zoo again on Thursday, saying the deer wouldn't have died if the zoo took better care of its animals' food stocks.
"Usually in the rainy season, you don't use grass that has been left piled [outside] for a night," Tony told the Jakarta Globe. "This grass will have fungus on it, which may cause diarrhea and [gastrointestinal] pressure."
It was the second time a deer died at the zoo over the past month. A pregnant doe was found dead on Jan. 31, reportedly due to a miscarriage.
The zoo now hosts 19 deers and more than 3,400 other animals. Nearly 80 of the animals are in poor health because of age or illness, according to the zoo.