A brief visit in the searing Jakartan heat to Lapangan Banteng was a new and slightly strange experience for me…. after entering and walking through a beautiful section of native plants and colourful tropical flowers, which made me momentarily wish for a garden of my very own (the reality is I would kill the plants in less than a week with a lack of a green thumb), we entered the fauna area… There were glass cages filled with lizards, huge snakes and tortoises which I was too afraid to get too close to.. I actually felt sorry for the snakes curled up and unable to move in their surrounds, and I wondered how they can actually survive in such an environment, without trees and grass and room to move. There were also roosters, turkeys, and owls for sale and monkeys in clothes in tiny cages which people kept hitting and poking for attention and I wanted to set them all free so they could be in peace again! The strangest thing being that there were owls and rabbits sitting on top of their cages and they could have easily escaped, but perhaps it was the crazy heat that made them too lazy to run or fly away or perhaps they were frightened at the big crowds of hands reaching out to touch them all day long.
I think it’s great that people can see these animals up close but would love to see them in a slightly more natural environment and see people show a little respect rather than yelling and banging on cages for a reaction.
Overall it was a fun adventure and ended up perfectly with a visit to the nearby incredibly popular Ragusa Ice-cream for a chocolate sundae.. a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.