Registered Charity in England & Wales No.1165941

Veterinary training for Indonesian zoos

Group of 30 zoo vets pose for a photo after animal welfare training session

Veterinary training for Indonesian zoos

The Wild Welfare team has been in Indonesia, training zoo veterinarians from across the country.

We recently held training at Taman Satwa Lembah Hijau, a zoo in Lampung, Indonesia, as part of our partnership with the Indonesian Zoo Association (PKBSI) and The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (JMICAWE) – part of the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in the UK.

The training welcomed 28 veterinarians and veterinary technicians from 17 PKBSI zoos, as well as personnel from Indonesia’s National Parks department and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about essential zoo animal health and welfare principles, with an emphasis on positive reinforcement training to help with veterinary examinations and how its use can have a very positive impact on animal welfare.

Wild Welfare’s field director, Dave Morgan, said: “This was a very good workshop with participants highly enthusiastic and motivated. I was very impressed with the overall calibre of those attending, with the practical techniques we put forward on non-invasive indicators of animal health very quickly picked up upon.”

Wild Welfare was joined by Dr Heather Bacon, JMICAWE’s Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach Manager, and Margaret Whittaker from Creative Animal Behaviour Solutions. Both gave a series of engaging presentations with one of the highlights a series of practical sessions in the zoo from Margaret, where she demonstrated positive reinforcement training with a sun bear. Margaret showed participants how to begin target training, the first step to training an animal to a variety of behaviours, actions and postures that help enable veterinary examination.

Margaret Whittaker said: “I’ve long admired the work of Wild Welfare and could not have been more honoured to participate in the recent workshop in Lampung. Wild Welfare’s pragmatic, hands-on approach directly addresses challenges to captive animal welfare by forging collaborative partnerships that build motivation for change.”

Wild Welfare has been active in Indonesia since 2014, and this three-year-long partnership in collaboration with PKBSI and JMICAWE, is providing zoo keeper and zoo veterinarian training on a series of essential animal care and welfare topics, helping to secure long-term improvements in welfare for animals across PKBSI zoos in Indonesia.

Dr. Wisnu Wardana from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bogor and a PKBSI Board Member, said: “The training is very important to change zoos for the better in welfare and health issues. When the trainees apply what they have learned from the workshop, there will be noticeable changes in Indonesian zoos. The impact is positive experiences for the animals.”

Wild Welfare will be returning to Indonesia later this year, as part of our work with the South East Asian Zoos and Aquariums Association (SEAZA), helping develop their welfare certification programme. SEAZA has several zoo members across Indonesia, so we are incredibly pleased that more than one of our collaborative projects are helping zoos in the country.

Dave Morgan added: “Working with colleagues such as those from PKBSI, Heather from Jeanne Marchig and Margaret Whittaker, was an enormously enjoyable and productive experience. I learnt a great deal myself and the importance of a collaborative basis for all Wild Welfare’s projects was again reinforced.”

Our thanks go to PKBSI for organisation of the training event, especially Dr Ligaya Tumbelaka, their executive director. Thanks also to Dr Heather Bacon and Margaret Whittaker, for the expert training they delivered and thanks to Pak (Mr) Irwan Nasution, director or Taman Satwa Lembah Hijau zoo, for hosting.


Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on

Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare for captive wild animals. By uniting the world’s leading zoos, zoo associations and animal welfare organisations, we build trusting partnerships that help provide long-term solutions to critical wild animal welfare issues.

Our vision is to end the suffering of captive wild animals around the world and ensure full and sustainable protection is given to all animals in human care. Find out more at Registered charity in England (no.1165941).