The tigers are emaciated and the 180 pelicans packed so tightly they cannot unfurl their wings without hitting a neighbour. Last week, a giraffe died with a beachball-sized wad of plastic food wrappers in its belly.
That death has focused new attention on the scandalous conditions at Indonesia’s largest zoo. Set up nearly a century ago in one the most biologically diverse corners of the planet, it once boasted the most impressive collection in southeast Asia.
But today the Surabaya Zoo is a nightmare, plagued by uncontrolled breeding, a lack of funding for general animal welfare and even persistent suspicions that members of its own staff are involved in illegal wildlife trafficking.
Incredibly rare species, including Komodo dragons and critically endangered orang-utans, sit in dank, unsanitary cages, filling up on peanuts tossed over the fence by giggling visitors…