The controversial Pata Zoo is located on top of a shopping complex in Bangkok

By Kelli Bender
July 26, 2018 03:54 PM
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Among the lush sights of Thailand lies a dark and dismal zoo.

The Pata Zoo in Bangkok is drawing attention for its questionable facilities and treatment of animals.

According to a press release from Brinkwire, the Pata Zoo sits on the top floor of a shopping center, which prevents its animals from getting access to the outdoors.

Among the animal residents is a gorilla kept in a tiny cage and big cats left to pace in cramped spaces. The building where the zoo is housed is also in poor condition, making matters even worse.

New footage from zoo, captured by freelance journalist Julian King, show the gorilla, Bua Noi, rocking back and forth in her small space.

“Bua Noi (the gorilla) – meaning little lotus in Thai – has been living a nightmare since 1983. She is enclosed on the sixth floor and has never set foot outside since then,” King said in a statement. “Animal protection laws are practically non-existent in Thailand, and those that do exist are extremely vague, making them difficult to enforce.”

King says that Bua Noi was taken from the wild as a baby and has spent the rest of her life in cage. Efforts were made to have her and other large animals moved out of the zoo to a sanctuary in 2015, when authorities found that the facility did not comply with regulations. For an unknown reason, those efforts stopped.

Bua Noi and all of the other zoo occupants remain there, stuck along a busy road with little to no access to sunlight. The zoo’s operators reportedly defend their operation, saying that the animals are comfortable and that they consulted zoologists and veterinarians before moving animals into the facility.

Animal lovers continue to hold out hope that the Pata Zoo is shut down — especially now that Thailand has new animal welfare laws — and that the residents are moved to more comfortable surroundings.