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Starving Bears Beg Visitors for Food at Indonesia’s Bandung Zoo

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The heartbreaking results of of ongoing animal abuse at Bandung Zoo — a 14-hectare complex located in the city of Bandung in West Java, Indonesia — was recently captured on video. The Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group — an organization of animal rights advocates based in Indonesia — has been investigating the zoo since mid-2015.

The group has sent several investigators to observe how the animals are being treated there.

The sun bear gestures to visitors.

Needless to say, the group’s findings have been disturbing.

A member of the animal rights group had taken a video and it quickly went viral. The video shows sun bears inside a concrete enclosure at the zoo.

They’re crying out for food.

Sun bears are from the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. They are also known as “honey bears,” as they have quite an appetite for honeycombs and, of course, honey. Normally, sun bears look cuddly. However, the sun bears seen in the viral video are so thin.

They scramble for pieces of food thrown by visitors.

In fact, several reports have described the sun bears at Bandung Zoo as “skeletal.” It’s really heartbreaking to see them begging zoo visitors for food.

Some zoo officials insist that these bears are "healthy."

Concerned citizens have started a petition on Change.org tagged as “Shut down Bandung Zoo now!”.

Compare: Healthy Bear vs. Starving Bear

However, some zoo officials remain indifferent to the plight of the sun bears and have merely dismissed their critics. One such person is Sudaryo, a spokesman for Yayasan Margasatwa Tamansari, the zoo’s operator.

The Jakarta Post quoted him as saying,

“Does being thin mean being unhealthy or not having enough food? On the other hand, looking fat does not mean an animal is healthy.”

Watch the heartbreaking video of the bears begging for food.

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Sudaryo’s statement made a lot of people angry. It’s easy enough to see that the sun bears are horrifyingly thin. Reports have likewise noted that there have been times when the bears ate their own feces out of desperation.

For now, we can only sign the petition and hope that the zoo gets shut down. We hope the animals will be returned to their natural habitat or taken to a protected area supervised by animal rights advocates.

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