By George Roberts
Thousands of exotic animals, including endangered Sumatran tigers, are languishing at a renowned Indonesian zoo where a bitter conflict is leaving animals to suffer and die.
The Surabaya Zoo was once the pride of South-East Asia, but overcrowding, small enclosures and squalid conditions have seen the number of animal deaths at the zoo run in to the hundreds - possibly thousands - over recent years.
There are 3,500 animals in Surabaya Zoo, including endangered orangutans and 15 tigers.
During the past three months alone, 50 animals have died, including an endangered Indonesian orangutan. Three tigers, dozens of Komodo dragons, and a giraffe have died in recent years.
The zoo's curator, Sri Penta, showed Foreign Correspondent around the zoo where endangered orangutans could be seen drinking from contaminated water, eagles and pelicans were crammed into small cages with no room to fly, and thousands of other animals were in dire conditions.
The big cats are kept for days on end in cramped, damp enclosures. Some of them are in such poor condition the public is not allowed to see them and they spend their entire existence caged.
"The current size of cages, for example, does not correspond with the animals occupying it. [They're\ too crowded," Ms Penta said.
Sumatran tigress in the middle of bitter feud
One Sumatran tigress, Melani, has become the poster girl of the zoo for the wrong reason - used by feuding management factions to further their own interests.
Three Sumatran tigers have dropped dead at Surabaya Zoo since 2008.
Melani survived but she is teetering on the edge of death after years of neglect and being served toxic meals contaminated with formaldehyde. More....