“We can put down wildlife that is not endemic” to Indonesia, Syafi’i said.
“But for wildlife endemic to Indonesia, like Sumatran tigers, we must do whatever it takes to save them. It’s sad, but at this point we need to start thinking about priorities.”
In Thailand, some animal parks are relying on private donations to keep the creatures fed.
“Every private zoo is affected,” said Nantakorn Phatnamrob, owner of now-closed Chang Siam Park in Pattaya, where tourists used to ride elephants, snap selfies with tiger cubs, and see snapping crocodiles.
In neighboring Malaysia, the zoo association has appealed for funds to try and avoid drastic choices about which animals live or die.
“If the (shutdown) continues to June or July, there will be some problems,” said Kevin Lazarus, chairman of the Malaysian Association of Zoological parks and Aquaria.
“But we’re not at that point yet. We’re trying to mitigate…so we don’t come to that kind of scenario.”