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Indonesian Zoo Death Sparks Outrage

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The mayor of Surabaya, Indonesia has promised to improve the conditions at the city's zoo following the tragic death of another animal at the facility.

Mayor Tri Rismaharini (Risma) Friday said she suspects the most recent death, of a lion named Michael, was because of negligence.



"I agree that the death of the lion was not an accident. It's impossible for animal lover, like me, to kill the lion. I can't even kill ants. That's why I want the police to investigate this."



At least 50 animals have died in the past year, leading animal welfare groups to call for the zoo's closure.

The 18-month-old lion was found Tuesday hanging from the top of his cage, his head stuck in cables used to open and close the cage.

The director of operations, Liang Kaspe, defended his facility, saying the lion's death was an accident and not due to negligence.



"The cage itself was built according to the international standards. Wherever they are, the cages are like the ones we have here."



The management of the zoo, Indonesia's largest, was taken over by the Surabaya city administration in July of last year, but the deaths have not stopped.

(This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.)

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