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New stir around Thailand's last captive gorilla


The fate of Thailand's last captive gorilla, which has been on display in a Bangkok shopping center for the past 30 years, continues to spark...

The fate of Thailand's last captive gorilla, on display in a Bangkok shopping mall for the past 30 years, continues to spark controversy in the kingdom, where the animal cause clashes with tourism interests.

Free Bua Noi!

": graffiti on the walls of the building which houses the Pata zoo on the 6th and 7th floors, brought back bad memories to the managers of the contested site at the beginning of March, who offered a reward of around 2,700 euros for information leading to the culprit.

“Extreme psychological distress”

Defenders of the animal cause, including the famous American singer Cher in 2020, have been campaigning for years for "

Bua Noi

" ("

Little Lotus

" in Thai), which lives without the possibility of seeing the light of day.

Aged over thirty years - a gorilla can live up to 50 years in captivity - she is the last representative of her species visible in the kingdom, where it does not exist in the wild.

Critics of the zoo point to its conditions of captivity, symbolic of a country where the animal cause can be sacrificed to attract tourists, fond of spending time with exotic species.

The animal "

suffers from extreme psychological distress

", denounced the Peta animal rights association.


She needs to be with her family, or at least in the open air with the possibility of seeing things, of feeling nature, of seeing birds flying," Edwin Wiek, founder of the company, told AFP

. environmental group Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand.

Sale Rumors

The authorities have passed new laws to protect native species, but these do not necessarily apply to private structures like the Pata Zoo.

The zoo has applied for a renewal of its operating license, said Padej Laithong, director of the wildlife conservation authority.

But for the manager, the concerns are mainly about fire safety standards, compliance with which is considered lax and has been the cause of many tragedies in Southeast Asia in recent years.


All of these details must be worked out before the license is renewed, suspended or revoked

," he said.

Read alsoHow Thailand plans to turn the page on mass tourism

On weekends, families continue to visit Pata Zoo, where “

Bua Noi

” shares the bill with an orangutan, parrots and goats.

The management of the site, which did not respond to calls from AFP, denounced in a press release attacks from abroad.

No citizen of any country has attacked their country on the subject of gorillas, except in Thailand

,” she wrote in response to the graffiti incident, assuring that the gorilla was treated well, and that it cost more than it brought in.

The activists told them that a cage was not suitable for a gorilla, a social animal that lives in groups in the wild.

The zoo had denied rumors of the sale of the primate in 2022.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-21

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News/Politics 2023-03-21T08:27:06.931Z

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