Last Gorilla In Thailand Lives Alone In Pata Zoo
They say no man is an island but it’s sad to say the same isn’t true for this gorilla.
Here’s Thailand’s last Gorilla – Bua Noi – sprawled within a cage at Pata Zoo in Pata Pinklao Department Store.
The 28-year-old animal lives atop a mall that isn’t exactly sanitary, filled with empty stalls, and tech stores.
You’d think Thailand’s last gorilla deserves to be treated like a VIP in a zoo. However, Khaosod English reported the unfortunate plight of the country’s last gorilla. Be warned, this is going to be an extremely hard read for animal lovers.
Bua Noi’s loneliness
Bua Noi – otherwise known as Little Lotus – was bought in Germany in 1992.
The 27-year-old gorilla has resided in the zoo since she was a year old. Her time in captivity seems so long that some visitors observed tears in her eyes.
A Change.org petition claimed that Bua Noi’s owners were offered a free service from professional gorilla experts who could help relocate her to any modern zoo. The offer fell on deaf ears as Bua Noi stays in a cage 24/7.
Pata Zoo’s primates include macaques & gibbons
Across Bua Noi’s cage lies a mother and son pair of orangutans — 30-year-old Pornand 6-year-old Pangpond. There are also primates such as macaques, gibbons and a diverse variety of monkeys and apes.
A zookeeper claimed that Bua Noi won’t be able to survive in the wild because she’s lived in captivity for her entire life.
He said in an interview,
They won’t let her go at this point. She’s worth at least 10 million baht now.
Born and bred in the zoo, Bua Noi and her fellow primates are kept inside a cage with tyres, wooden climbing beams, and a long chain.
It’s a poor imitation of a jungle which they might never be able to see.
Isolated animals in dirty cages
The zoo’s lack of visitors might make it difficult for the establishment to acquire money and modernise their facilities for the animals.
At Pata Zoo, Khaosod English claims that animals are trapped in dirty and dingy cages that leave us wondering how this bearcat can survive.
A herd of goats is also seen cramped in an enclosure where they can barely walk.
Rabbits huddle in the comfort of a tiny wood shack, as a pigeon roosts at the top of their enclosure — possibly to steal a bite of their food.
Reptiles & rodents in poorly maintained aquariums
Reptiles and rodents are also kept in poorly maintained aquariums, reports Khaosod.
This turtle resides in an aquarium with water that mimics a swamp. The water seems green because of the absence of a proper filtration system.
You can barely make out this jerboa with stick-thin legs that can barely stand.
An aquarium tank is filled with a group of rodents sleeping on top of each other in a corner.
Controversial zoo garners petitions
Animal lovers have already created multiple petitions on Change.Org to help Bua Noi and her fellow animals. This petition, pleading for the lonely gorilla’s compassionate release, has garnered 110,000 signatures and they’re still aiming for 30,000 more.
More aggressive petitions have demanded Thailand’s tourism officials to shut down the zoo and place the animals in a proper sanctuary. While the petition has closed, it has gained more than 7,000 supporters.
TripAdvisor reviewers and foreign news outlets have also expressed their concerns over the animal’s living conditions.
Despite the controversy, the establishment has opted to ignore all the drama. Zoo director Kanit Sermsirimongkol said that “fake news outlets” wanted to exploit the locals’ sense of pity.
He said to MThai,
Animals in zoos are generally well treated and can mate. People can get dramatic over even the best zoo in the world.
Pata Zoo located in Bangkok
The living conditions of these animals are unfortunate but you can still sign the Change.Org petition for Bua Noi’s compassionate release.
For those who think it’s better to give Pata Zoo the benefit of doubt – seeing the zoo director’s contradicting response to Khaosod English’s report – you can visit the zoo and be the judge of the situation yourself.
Here’s how to get there.
Pata Zoo is located in Pata Pinklao Department Store in Bangkok.
Tickets are priced at 120 baht (S$5.40) for foreign children and 200 baht (S$8.99) for foreign adults. Thai locals enjoy a discount at 50 baht (S$2.25) for children and 80 baht (S$3.59) for adults.
The establishment is an hour and a 10-minute cab ride from Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Address: 125 ถนน สมเด็จพระปิ่นเกล้า Khwaeng Bang Yi Khan, Khet Bang Phlat, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10700, Thailand
Opening Hours: 10:00am to 6:00pm
Contact Number: +66 2 434 3333
We hope that Pata Zoo’s living conditions improve for Bua Noi and her fellow animals.
Have you been to Pata Zoo? Are you interested in raising awareness and making a trip? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image from Khaosod English.