Human Interest

Activists call for transfer of gorilla confined for decades in Bangkok zoo

Bangkok, 26 Oct (EFE).- Animal rights organization PETA is demanding the transfer of female gorilla Bua Noi to a sanctuary, as it has spent decades locked up alone in a ramshackle zoo located on the top floors of a department store in Bangkok.

Bua Noi (Little Lotus in Thai) suffers from “extreme psychological distress” due to being confined for almost four decades in a concrete cage in “the world’s saddest zoo,” Jason Baker, Senior Vice President of International Campaigns at PETA Asia, said on Tuesday.

“All creatures imprisoned there live in tiny, bare enclosures. They are denied sunlight, fresh air, and any opportunity to exercise or engage in other important natural behaviors,” Baker added.

The gorilla, which according to the owners of Pata Zoo was bought 33 years ago, is in “its final stage of life” and could die at any moment, the zoo stated.

Jason claims that PETA has “repeatedly offered” to transfer the animals to a sanctuary where “they could climb trees, roll in the grass and socialize with other animals.”

The controversy surrounding the state of the zoo and the conditions in which Bua Noi is kept comes after the Thai Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said on Friday that it is finding ways to buy the gorilla and send it to a better place in Germany, from where it was originally purchased.

The secretary to the ministry, Thanespol Thanaboonyawat, told the media that Pata Zoo has asked for 30 million baht (around $780,000) for the gorilla, something the zoo owners have denied.

The owners of Pata Zoo deny negotiating with “anyone” or “any agency” and doubt the aged gorilla could be transferred in favorable conditions and adapt to a new environment, according to a statement posted on Facebook on Saturday.

Moreover, they also said that the animal has been treated well at all times and lives in a hygienic area, rating her long life in the cage an “achievement.”

Since her companion died about a decade ago, Bua Noi has lived alone in a cage in the zoo, which also has other animals like flamingos, monkeys, orangutans, and lemurs.

Besides PETA, singer Cher has made appeals in the past for the release of animals in Pata Zoo and their transfer to sanctuaries where they could live in better and more spacious conditions. EFE


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