Monday, October 10, 2011

West Java’s Taman Safari Pursues Global Recognition With the Spirit of a Tiger

Drive-thru zoo Taman Safari Indonesia is embarking on a new kind of expedition: to upgrade its facilities and human resources in pursuit of higher-quality conservation and entertainment.

The 165-hectare zoo is aiming to have the best wildlife hospital in Southeast Asia by 2016, and is also working to be reaccredited as a conservation body, a status it lost in 1990.

“Originally we weren’t aiming too high, but at the start of this year we set our goal as becoming the number one wildlife hospital in Indonesia, then in Southeast Asia,” Irawan, a Taman Safari education staff member, said on Monday.

“We decided not to make a half-hearted effort, so we raised our sights and moved our deadline back a little.” Irawan said the safari park, located in the highlands of Cisarua in West Java, perceived zoos in South Korea, Japan and Singapore as its main competition .

He said that to reach their target, the hospital would have to boost their number of doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Taman Safari has been home to a wildlife hospital since 1981. It employs six veterinarians and 12 paramedics to care for the park’s 2,500 animals of 270 species.

Its present facilities include two operating theaters, an X-ray studio, a laboratory, an autopsy room and animal care wards.

Meanwhile, the park is working with the Forestry Ministry to renew its expired conservation accreditation. Irawan said the zoo hoped to complete preparations for accreditation by November.

Taman Safari is also working on an accommodation upgrade for its star tenants: 22 Sumatran Tigers, whose cages were built three decades ago.

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