Thailand’s only living gorilla remains caged in a small concrete enclosure after being homed in “one of the saddest places in the world” in 1983.
Celebs such as Cher and Gillian Anderson have campaigned for her freedom but efforts have so far been fruitless.
That’s because Bua Noi remains locked up at the infamous Pata Zoo in Thailand.
She passes her time by sleeping or begging tourists for scraps of food.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been desperate to rehome her for years and are still not giving up.
The PETA Senior Vice President of Asia, Jason Baker, said: “Bua Noi is the only gorilla in the whole country.
“Imprisoned with little opportunity for exercise or psychological stimulation, she’s spent decades in isolation, confined between the walls of her concrete cell.
“For this and many other reasons, Pata Zoo is known for being one of the saddest places in the world.
“All the animals there are kept in cramped, barren cages and deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them.
“PETA Asia has campaigned against Pata Zoo for years and continues to push for change.”
And Mr Baker told the Daily Star the organisation was prepared to step in and rehome Bua Noi and other animals at any moment.
They have been campaigning for Bua Noi’s release since 2012.
He added: “The group stands ready to help transfer all the animals held there to a sanctuary, where they would have trees to climb, grass to roll on, and many animals to play with.
“The public can do its part by avoiding this facility at all costs.”
Pata Zoo is based in Bangkok on the sixth and seventh floor of the Pata Pinklao Department Store.
It is often criticised when footage is leaked appearing to show poor conditions for the animals.
And an ominous report in 2016 by International Animal Rescue claimed some animals there were being left to die.
More than 200 species of animals are kept at the zoo including tigers, bears and pythons.
And last year award-winning actress Gillian Anderson wrote to the zoo’s owner, Kanit Sermsirimongkol.
She said: “In these trying days, we are all experiencing the challenges of seclusion.
“I can’t help but think about the animals in the Pata Zoo, who have experienced the same loneliness and isolation for years or decades.
“In light of the recent fire that broke out at the zoo, I am writing to ask you to honestly reflect on what life is like for animals there and to come to the decision to close it. “
And singing superstar Cher tweeted in December: “This man is making [money] off suffering of these poor trapped animals.
“I wish this greedy money hungry man would be locked in cages with animals.
“I need to join with animal rights activists and kind people of Bangkok.”
And in 2019 three women wearing just underwear and body paint held a colourful protest outside the private zoo branding it “inhumane”.
The protesters were PETA members and they carried signs reading ’Let animals show their true colours’ and ‘Cruelty is not entertainment’.
This article by Liam McInerney was first published by The Daily Star on 18 October 2021. Lead Image: Bua Noi spends her days sleeping and begging tourists for food (Image: Peta Asia / Bua Noi is the only living gorilla in the whole of Thailand).
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