Melani Update – May 2014 Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life

Melani’s unique stripes – For those that are unaware, no two Tigers in the world have the same stripes. Like Zebra’s, at first glance they may appear to be the same but the fact is they are not. Each Tiger has it’s very own unique stripe pattern. This is the way Tiger Experts & Tiger Lovers tell each Tiger apart, by their stripe pattern. Now, on & off since Melani was transferred to Taman Safari Bogor there have been the odd comments posted here that the pictures of Melani we post are not Melani. They say that Melani died a year ago and was never taken to Taman Safari Bogor and we are misleading you, our supporters. So I have done a ‘Stripe ID’ for you all to see that in fact, the Melani that is currently at Taman Safari Bogor is indeed the same Tiger known as Melani that was kept at Surabaya Zoo before her transfer in June 2013. The pictures on the left are ours, the pictures on the right have been visible through social media before Melani’s transfer.
So in ending, to the person/s that has sadly been quoted as an ‘animal expert’, please go do the professional thing and do a Tiger stripe ID on any pics you may find of Melani and please stop trying to cause negatives in the media.
And to our supporters, you all can now ‘Stripe ID’ a Tiger like the experts  ~ Donna


Melani Update – May 2014 – Now that i have better internet, I thought I would update a little more on Melani.

I hope everyone is very happy to see that Melani is outside  Im sure you all are

For those that are new and dont know, Melani was inside Surabaya Zoo and had been fed formaldehyde tainted meat which poisoned her. 3 other tigers ate that meat, they all died. Melani somehow survived, but she needed intense care. She was not getting that care and she had to be rehomed to Taman Safari in Bogor in June 2013. For nearly the last year, she has undergone intensive care and rehabilitation.
The sad thing about Melani is that the poison froze and damaged nearly all of her internal organs. Most are functioning now, but her ability to absorb food is nearly gone.
That is why she is a little tiger. She will never be much bigger than what you see now.
Having said that, she is pain free, content, happy and oh so very very loving


Melani is probably the sweetest tiger in world  I have met and worked with many tigers, wild and captive, and Melani is so very special.
She simply does not bite and she is so full of love and affection. It is quite an amazing thing, one of a kind xo
Maybe one day I will walk inside and hug her without the bars, maybe.
But as Melani has spent a lifetime of being touched and abused by humans, she is given the freedom and love and respect that she deserved so very long ago. She is free to do what she wants now.
But wonderfully and with such undying beauty, this girl chooses to come to the ones she loves and trusts. I am humbled beyond words the she chooses me as part of her family. I thank God every day for my dear dear tiger sister/daughter/mother/teacher, my beautiful Tiger friend xo (One day I will say more about this, but this beautiful girl has healed me a great deal)


And we all can learn lessons from animals, you only have to open your heart and you will find an enormous intelligence inside of these living beings.

With Melani, she has been through such horror and hell, such pain, but through it all her extraordinary positive soul, full of love has always remained.

How did this lovely girl become this way? Why does she love? and how can she love humans, the very species that hurt her so?

Melani’s history is very telling. She was born in Surabaya Zoo, the only cub of a mum who rejected her, and she was then hand raised. Melani is nearly 16 years old now, just a couple more days until her birthday  But, she was born in Surabaya zoo when everything was ok, for 8 years she was loved and cared for inside of there. Surabaya was not always what it became. Everything went wrong in Surabaya Zoo about 8 years ago, because of human infighting and internal conflict, and lining pockets with $$ instead of doing the best for the animals.

So Melani was very loved, and in fact she used to be walked around in public at SZ. Some times Tigers (and other animals) that are brought up with humans turn too aggressive or become so strong that they are taken off public duties or viewing.

That didnt happen with Melani, although her “walking in public” ceased when she was about 4 years old, she still was outside in public view, in a grassed area and sunshine. But then the horror happened when she turned about 10. After funds were being directed into peoples pockets, the quality of the animals food was sub standard. Cheap meats were bought, and horrifically the formaldehyde meat was fed to the tigers. Bad staff smothered SZ…..

Melani struggled. She watched her tiger companions die one after the other. Then in 2011, she was taken off public viewing because of her terrible condition. She was locked inside a dungeon, with no sun, no grass… She struggled and fought to live.

From the years 2011 – 2013, Melani had one saviour in SZ, and that was Government appointed team that was fixing the zoo at the time. One Dr cared for Melani and aided her, keeping her alive with medicines and care. But off course she needed intense care. Melani began to reject her food in early 2013 because she was so sick. She could not get the care she needed.

She began to starve to death.

The world cried out for this girl. Through the combined efforts of public petitions, very good people within Indonesia, and Cee4life, we got her out. Its been a long road for her to be able to walk into the sunshine and grass again.

Taman Safari is in Bogor Indonesia and it is known as the rain city, it rains every day!!

Because of Melani’s weak health, she could not be allowed outside for fear she would contract pneumonia from the cold wet weather. She struggled on.

I remember in the early days, the pain that this girl endured…. well, no human could endure that. She was 47kg (healthy sumatran girls are about 85kg – 130kg)… and she was in severe pain.
Those dear eyes looking into mine, longing for the pain to end. All I could do was hold her. She never stopped her love, even in the most darkest hours. xoxo this dear girl, I think that she comforted me more than i comforted her. my heart was breaking and hurt so much for her, and she just looked at me and chuffed and gently rubbed her head on me… oh I felt like a useless human being then.. How could she muster up that comfort to me when she was in agony xoxox
The wonderful Vets that worked on her and designed her care program and the staff that rotated 24/7 for months to keep her alive.

Then one day she had no pain  and she stood up

She has no pain now, and still the very loving and affectionate character/soul that Melani has always been, is only enhanced now that she is feeling good

As I watched her and talked to her in the sunshine and grass again, I could not help but wonder how many years this dear little girl has left, but whatever it is, she has taught so many people the meaning of endurance and love.
How many people do you know that could never be angry when in such prolonged horror circumstances or pain? Not many.

We should all be humbled and grateful this girl exists. xo

The grace of Melani is astounding, the love is overflowing, this gentle Tiger is a miracle.

We all must see and learn from Melani’s story, a Tiger that has crossed the boundaries of love the world over, a Tiger who has brought together people from all over the world and made us all feel, understand, love. A Tiger who opened the doors for the human race to communicate with each other, to unite across the world, no matter what race, religion, colour we all are.

When you think of what this little girl has done, we should all be so very humbled that she exists on our earth. In such days where there is much horror and anger, Melani walked into our lives and built bridges of peace, communication and love. That is a marvellous and extraordinary being

Please always remember the lessons taught by this lovely Tiger girl xo


Melani is still going well, but she still needs her vigilant care. xo

As I sit with her, I know that she is an angel. There is no doubt about that, this perfect loving soul, just happy to be alive and so very giving of her love.

There is a quote by Anatole France “Until one has loved an animal a part of ones soul remains unawakened”. That is so true.
Lets keep walking forward on this journey with this Tiger angel, no matter where it goes
Never Give Up xo ~ Sybelle

Note: We are still providing Melani with her formula and some medications. If you would like to contribute to that we would highly appreciate it. It costs about $500 AU every 6 – 8 weeks to provide her with this. Please go to and quote “Melani”

Thankyou so much xo

Credits: Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life

One thought on “Melani Update – May 2014 Surabaya Zoo Animal Welfare Action – Cee4life

  1. Thank you for sharing your story of your time with this precious soul. Thank you for caring for her. I realize that she has since passed, but knowing that she had at least about a year of being loved and properly cared for makes the tragedy more bearable. God bless.

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