A zookeeper feeds carrots to a giraffe at Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Peaceable Kingdom in the South of Jakarta
BY : YUDHA BASKORO
MARCH 21, 2019
Jakarta. The legendary Ragunan Zoo in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, can be too quiet about its achievements. Not many people know that the 140-hectare zoo, first opened in 1864 when Indonesia was still known as the Dutch East Indies, is a successful breeder of the rare Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) and Pangolins. Earlier this year, the zoo cured a siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) from a severe influenza. And have you seen the fat, healthy, huge silverback gorillas at their often-overlooked Schmutzer Primate Center? All of this is the handiwork of its hard-working and often unappreciated zookeepers.
The Jakarta Globe visited the zoo on Wednesday (20/03) at lunchtime to see how the zookeepers interact with giraffes, birds, gorillas and pangolins in their conservation areas.
Every zookeeper in Ragunan lives and breathes with the animals, and knows all their habits and quirks. The giraffe keeper knows the magnificent African animals get hungry every 10 minutes and demand to be brought fresh leaves. The gorilla keepers often have to shoo away over-enthusiastic visitors when the beasts are having their lunch since gorillas are preternaturally shy. The siamang is still kept in quarantine and can't see any visitors yet—apart from her doting keepers—as she continues to recover from her recent illness. Only a few animals in the zoo can be visited at close range, and visitors must follow strict rules.
The third oldest zoo in the world is constantly trying improve the facilities at its animal hospital, nursery and daycare. Next year, the Jakarta administration plans to close the zoo for a whole year for a major overhaul of the place—the first time it will be closed for an extended period since it was first opened more than 150 years ago.