The world’s loneliest gorilla is doomed to die in captivity in a tiny cage in a shopping centre, after activists’ continued attempts to free her fail.
Pop icon Cher has joined an ever increasing swell of animal rights activists and celebrities campaigning to have Bua Noi resettled in an environment where she can spend the last years of her life in dignity.
There are also more than more than 117,000 signatures on a Change.org petition to release Thailand’s only surviving gorilla from 30-years in confinement (see petition below).
She is one of hundreds of monkeys, birds and reptiles in the privately-run Pata Zoo, situated on the roof of an old Bangkok mall.
Surrounded by concrete, bars and thick glass, with only a few ropes and car tire for distraction in what has been referred to as the “horror zoo”.
“A life of boredom and loneliness is the cruellest fate of all for our primate cousins,” the petition says.
Cher has also previously tweeted: “This man is making [money] off suffering of these poor trapped animals.
“I need to join with animal rights activists and kind people of Bangkok.”
Bua Noi was moved to the shopping centre from Germany aged one and has been imprisoned ever since.
However, in autumn, the Thai Environment Ministry said the gorilla’s owners wanted 30 million Thai baht (£739,666) for her release before the zoo denied the money request on its Facebook page.
The owners claimed Bua Noi was too old to adjust to a new environment and was being well cared for.
Despite offers to take her, as well as other primates being kept at the zoo, into care, the owners of Pata Zoo did not seem interested and said the gorilla was fine.
Thailand’s Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa appeared also to draw a line on the matter, saying the zoo had “promised to take care” of the animals and the owner “had the right to do so”.
Sign the petition to Save Gorilla Little Lotus (Buanoi):
This article by Joe Faretra was first published by The Daily Star on 6 January 2023. Lead Image: Bua Noi has spent 30 years in captivity at the privately-run Pata Zoo (Image: Daily Mirror).
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