Letter From Jakarta

Saving Bandung's zoo from a grim fate

Forced to shut amid Covid-19, it had planned to feed its deer to the big cats when a call for help saw donations of food and medicine pouring in

Bandung zoo's manager Tony Sumampau (left) in front of the new lion enclosure. He runs the zoo with his son John Sumampau (right), seen here leading a tour of the lions' new night cages.
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On a recent weekday at the Bandung Zoological Garden, a lone male muntjac - or barking deer - was snug inside a feed trough, a sheet of corrugated steel providing shade from the midday sun.

His mates gathered in shady patches nearby, all blissfully oblivious to the grim fate they had narrowly escaped.

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