Calls to close 'death' zoo after skeletal bears seen begging for food

Calls to close 'death' zoo after skeletal bears seen begging for food

Gaunt sun bears in an Indonesia zoo, so hungry they've taken to begging visitors for food and eating their own feces, have been captured on video by animal rights activists.

Despite the repeated calls, Scorpion says the zoo's management has denied them their request to examine the sun bears, especially one of the creatures, which was spotted eating its own feces in a video uploaded by the group previous year.

Wildlife trade monitoring group Scorpion sent an investigator to capture the sickening footage of the animals, who were a fraction of their healthy 80kg weight.

Their videos, taken since mid-2016, show the bears pacing around in a concrete enclosure and standing up on their legs apparently begging visitors for food, who throw them junk food. "[There is] nothing natural, it is all very cruel".

The video grabbed the public's attention after United Kingdom website published an article earlier this month based on the footage, which was uploaded to YouTube by Scorpion Wildlife Monitoring in May past year.

Bandung Zoo spokesman Sudaryo dismissed the issue as an "old case". "It would be best if this place was closed down now before more animals die a painful and avoidable death".

The fate of Yani, the 34-year-old Sumatran elephant that died at the zoo last year, shocked animal lovers around the world.

The petition, signed by more than 190,000 people, reads: "The Bandung Zoo has been coined Indonesia's "death zoo" and must be shut down immediately".

Visitors are disturbed too, looking the position of bears in the zoo.

"The zoo is overcrowded and doesn't have a veterinarian on hand, so when animals fall ill they are left to suffer".

One comment on the Bandung Zoo's TripAdvisor page says, "I could not believe how disgusting and unclean this place was". "The animals here have enough food supplies if you want to help, get in touch with us directly", he said. "Hell on earth for all these poor animals", said another review.

The sun bear, also known as the honey bear due to its love of honey, is the smallest of the bear species and inhabits Southeast Asian tropical forests and swamps.