“No matter how much ‘care and attention’ is lavished on these animals by their owners and keepers, just by keeping them in such confines and conditions is purgatory for them in terms of their well-being and mental health.”
US singer Cher is campaigning to rehome a gorilla living above a Thai shopping centre.
Bua Noi has been alone at Pata Zoo on the top floor of a department store in western Bangkok for over three decades.
The zoo, operational since the 1980s, has two floors housing a range of animals, reptiles, birds, and various species of monkey.
However, Bua Noi remains the only gorilla in Thailand after her mate died many years ago.
‘Stop The Torturing Of Innocent Animals’
In a twitter post, Cher appealed to people of Bangkok to help her in her mission to relocate her.
“Good People Of Bangkok I Know You Will Understand & Help Me Stop The Torturing Of Innocent Animals,” she tweeted.
It Is a Sin. Please Help Me Bring Peace to these Animals. & Free Them From Pata Zoo…Shopping Mall.”
Good People Of Bangkok— Cher (@cher) December 6, 2020
I Know You Will Understand & Help Me Stop The Torturing Of
Innocent Animals. It Is a Sin.Please Help Me Bring Peace to these Animals.
&Free Them From Pata Zoo…Shopping Mall
Mark Cowne from Free the Wild, – an animal charity co-founded by Cher for rescuing mistreated animals from captivity, said, the organization has reached out to the Thai government in hopes of being able to rehome Bua Noi, as well as a number of other animals at Pata Zoo, including an orangutan and her baby.
Last week, Cher also wrote a handwritten letter to Thailand’s environment minister, Varawut Silpa-archa, requesting he ‘find it in his heart’ to release the gorilla, who is imprisoned in the zoo with no physical or mental stimulation.
“None of these animals appear to be being properly cared for and the reports we have received refer to the zoo as decrepit and overrun with rats and cockroaches,” Cowne said
“No matter how much ‘care and attention’ is lavished on these animals by their owners and keepers, just by keeping them in such confines and conditions is purgatory for them in terms of their well-being and mental health.
“These wild, wonderful, charismatic animals are in solitary confinement for life. In a zoo. On top of a shopping mall. That is far removed from the lowlands of the Congo.”
In response to the accusations levied on the zoo, owner Kanit Sermsirimongkol refuted the claims stating ‘they were not true’.
“Pata Zoo would like to clarify the news on social media which provides inaccurate information about Pata Zoo by using personal feelings to judge rather than reasons and facts,” he told Sky News.
“It creates a buzz with distorted information such as the gorilla shows grief and cries. In fact, gorillas cannot cry because they do not have lacrimal glands like humans.
“There is an accusation that the animals are starved and gaunt which is not true.”
He noted: “Also, the call for releasing the gorilla into the wild is the idea of animal lovers who lack knowledge and understanding about animals.
“Animals that are raised in the zoo cannot be released to survive in the wild as animals born in zoos are accustomed to, and have grown up in zoos.”
Inviting Cher to visit the zoo, Sermsirimongkol added: “For Cher, we want to invite her to our zoo if she comes to Thailand so she can see how well we look after the gorilla with love and care.”
Animal activist Cher
This isn’t the first time Cher has rallied for the release of a captive animal. Her relentless campaigning finally rescued the “world’s loneliest elephant”, 36-year-old Kaavan from Pakistan.
Cher had been campaigning for Kaavan’s release for the last four years, after hearing about the lonely elephant’s plight.
Free the Wild managed to relocate the elephant to a Cambodian sanctuary after he spent years living alone, in a run-down facility in Islamabad.
Learn more about Free the Wild here.
Share this story to support Cher in urging the Thai government to rehome Bua Noi.
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