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


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. 

Photographs from former ragunan zoo animal keeper in Ragunan Zoo, South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03) Ragunan Zoo has more than 150 year of age as the third oldest zoo in the world. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Photographs of former Ragunan zookeepers. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Budi, bird keeper in Ragunan Zoo is taking care a newborn of bayan bird (parrot) in Ragunan Zoo, South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03) Parrots can be found in most tropical and subtropical regions. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Budi, a birdkeeper at Ragunan Zoo, feeds a newborn bayan bird (parrot). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Ragunan Zoo keeper cleaning up animal temporary shelter in Ragunan Zoo, South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03) Temporary shelter is used to accommodate sick or newborn animals before being returned to their main conservation area. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A zookeeper cleans a temporary shelter for sick animals. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Dwi, an animal zoo keeper gives a gorilla some grapes for lunch in Ragunan Zoo, South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03) He maintain the health and weight of gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) at the Schmutzer Primate Center.
Zookeeper Dwi offers grapes to a silverback for lunch at Ragunan Zoo's Schmutzer Primate Center. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Gorilla eats lettuce (Lactuca sativa) for lunch in Ragunan zoo, South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03) He kept looking at his keeper during lunch because the keeper protected him from visitors who often disturbed him (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A young gorilla hides from visitors to eat his lettuce. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Ragunan zoo keeper gives a suplement for bayan bird (parrot) in Ragunan zoo temporary shelter in South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03) (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A bayan bird being given vitamins. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Two five weeks of ages Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) in Ragunan Zoo, South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03) Ragunan Zoo in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta succeed to breed the Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) at the end of 2018. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Rare Bali myna birds bred at the zoo. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Pangolins keeper gives some food for the male in Ragunan Zoo, South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03) Earlier this year the zoo succeed to breed pangolins. The male needs more food and suplement to stay strong during reproduction (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A Pangolin, also bred at the zoo. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Animal breeding shelter di Ragunan Zoo, South Jakarta on Wednesday (20/03)  The third oldest zoo in the world keeps trying to improve the quality of hospital, nursery and daycare to preserve their animals. Next year, Jakarta government want to revitalized the zoo and it will be closed in a year until 2021 for the first time since opened by Dutch East Indies in 1864.  (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
The breeding center at Ragunan Zoo. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)


Ragunan Zoo