Indonesia's oldest zoo reopens with social difference restrictions

Jakarta  The oldest zoo in Indonesia was reopened on Saturday but had to be closed for more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is a fraction of the usual number of visitors.

The 156-year-old Raghun Zoo in the capital, Jakarta, has 2,200 animals, including many endangered species in the country.

The zoo has introduced precautionary measures for reopening, including a day limit on visitor numbers, social distance with markers, and confirmation of health protocols.

"We do not allow people to use masks and pregnant women, children nine and under, or elderly people," Zoo spokeswoman I. Ketut Visarasana told Reuters.

Visitors said they were excited about the reopening and were worried about the zoo's existence.

"At COVID-19, the zoo has no revenue from visitors, so I want to support it," Kusmana, who uses the name, told Reuters.

Others, such as Jakarta resident Buddy Henry, though he and his wife were safer in an open space than indoor attractions and malls.

The zoo is owned by the local government and Visarsana said the animals were kept in good health and looked after them during the closure.

Some small zoos in Indonesia have struggled to feed their animals during the epidemic. In April, the Indonesian Zoo Association said most zoos in the country could not afford livestock.

Indonesia received 1,226 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, with 180 cases in the capital, bringing the total to 45,029.

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