The scandal at Indonesia’s notorious “zoo of death” took another turn on Monday after the mayor of Surabaya delivered a file to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detailing allegations of graft.
“There have been several groups [in the management] of Surabaya Zoo. The team isn’t solid and some action needs to be taken immediately,” Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini said before a meeting with anti-graft officers. “We hope the KPK will help us.”
The move by Rismarahini to approach the KPK marks a sharp turnaround for the mayor, who has attracted criticism for her administration’s management since it took over the zoo after the horrendous conditions were revealed.
KPK spokesman Johan Budi said investigator would study the file.
“We will study the report — similar to our treatment of reports from other members of the public — to see if there is any indication of corruption or not,” Johan said.
It could not be confirmed on Monday which people in the temporary management team Rismaharini had reported to the KPK. It is understood that the report claims that officials in the zoo’s management team were complicit in the black-market sale of animals.
The zoo is home to approximately 3,000 animals, 420 of which are protected species. The mayor suspects that at least two endangered species were stolen and sold.
“Each small Bali myna is worth between Rp 50 million ($4,100) and Rp 100 million,” Rismaharini said. “A Komodo dragon may sell for between Rp 600 million and Rp 900 million; two are missing.”
Rismarahini said that an independent study of the zoo had revealed that officials may have received cars and other items as part of deals to sell zoo animals.
“This according to the Airlangga [University]’s audit… of the zoo,” Rismaharini said.