Jan. 14 - A lion was found hanged to death in his own cage in Indonesian 'zoo of death'. Julie Noce reports.
Last week zookeepers at the Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia found Michael, an 18-month-old African lion, hanging by his neck from the roof of his cage. Zoo officials are investigating what happened but say they are confident it was an accident. Federal authorities aren't so sure. Michael's death is just the latest in a string of incidents at the park that local media have dubbed the 'zoo of death'. In 2010 officials said about 25 animals die prematurely each month.... like the Sumatran tiger who had eaten meat laced with formaldehyde. Or the giraffe who was found with a 10 pound ball of plastic in its stomach after eating garbage thrown into its cage by onlookers. Political red tape and infighting between federal and local officials have stalled any improvements. Tony Sumampau was appointed by the government to oversee zoo upgrades. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) GENERAL SECRETARY OF INDONESIA ZOO ASSOCIATION, TONY SUMAMPAU, SAYING: "Yes there was a mismanagement and the cage was not good enough. Also I believe there was a breach of standard operating procedures by irresponsible officials that caused Michael the lion's hanging and death." The zoo is home to some 3,500 animals.