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Shopping Mall Zoo Execs Deny Wanting $795,000 For Gorilla

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A shopping mall Zoo in Bangkok has denied any agreement to sell the country’s last gorilla, Bua Noi, for 30 million baht (US$ 795,000) in order for her to be transported to Germany.

The shopping mall executives claim that its management never considered placing a price on the cherished animal in order to profit.

The statement comes after rumors after the Bangkok Post reported the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was attempting to negotiate with the zoo’s operator, Pata Pinklao Department Store, to free the 33-year-old female gorilla.

Pata shopping mall zoo management stated that since August 28, 2020, the present team of Pata Pinklao executives have been in charge of management.

The executives have never engaged in any negotiations to sell Bua Noi to anyone or any agencies up to this point.

They said they rejected a plan to relocate the gorilla to Germany, which had been requested previously by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

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The management stated they were unsure if Bua Noi could adjust to a new environment. The elderly gorilla has lived her entire life at Pata Zoo and has become accustomed to this atmosphere and environment for over 30 years.

Thanespol Thanaboonyawat, a spokesperson for Thailand’s Natural Resources and Environment said on Friday that authorities wished to return Bua Noi, or “Little Lotus,” to the German zoo.

He claimed Pata Zoo had quoted him 30 million baht for her move.

On Saturday, Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa Thailand’s minister of natural resources and environment, declined to comment directly on Pata Zoo’s remark.

However, he stated that conversations over Buo Noi had occurred between the ministry and the shopping mall zoo before his appointment with the ministry, but no other information was provided.

He urged zoos around the country, both public and private, to prioritize the welfare and well-being of the animals in their care.

Mr. Thanespol stated that the ministry had received complaints about Bua Noi’s living conditions from the shopping mall zoo visitors, animal lovers, and wildlife campaigners over the years and that she had lived alone for 30 years.

zoo shopping mall

Because the animal is now 33 years old and gorillas have an average lifespan of 40-50 years, the ministry designed a strategy to return her to her birthplace to be with other gorillas, he said.

According to the statement, the present management of the Pata Zoo wanted to repeat that no persons or agencies had expressed interest in contacting them to research the environment at the zoo and the living circumstances in Bua Noi.

It stated, without further elaboration, that “a recent media interviewee” had never spent time studying the animal at the zoo to consider the viability of any relocation scheme.

“It’s a delicate affair raising a gorilla to survive in a zoo, especially in a department store.”

Pata Zoo is continually holding meetings to ensure the animal’s well-being since we are fully aware that Bua Noi, the country’s last gorilla, could die at any time due to her advanced age.

Pata Zoo management stated that Bua Noi has always been well cared for and that the zoo has spent approximately 10,000 baht per month on her upkeep.

They say she is too elderly to acclimate to the wild or any other way of life.

Shopping Mall Zoo in Bangkok Wants $798,000 to Release of Gorilla Caged for 30 Years

There have been appeals for the gorilla to spend her last years with other gorillas. People are free to hold opposing views on the issue, the shopping mall executive said.

It was not appropriate, however, for a reputable zoo-supervision organization to use the term “being imprisoned” for animals kept in zoos, it stated.

Although the organization has been operating at a deficit, the zoo claims that it has never placed a price on Bua Noi in order to benefit from its most cherished animal.

Do gorillas have a place in zoos? Why do visitors to urban zoos want to see large animals? Are gorillas safer in the wild than in captivity, and if so, where?

These are issues on which there will inevitably be strong disagreements.

But there is one thing we can all agree on: we must endeavor to be compassionate and to cultivate peaceful coexistence between people and other species, as well as to create safe environments for gorillas with little human effect.

Animal Rights Group PETA Asia Reacts

According to PATA Asia after petitions from PETA about animals suffering at Pata Zoo brands like Watson’s and Lotus’s have confirmed that they won’t be renewing their eases at the shopping mall.

By deciding to leave the Shopping mall, these brands are taking a stand against the cruel zoo, something they don’t want their business to be associated with.

Animals like Bui Noi, a female gorilla, have been in lockdown and all alone behind bars since 1983 at Pata Zoo.

Like the other animals suffering at the zoo, she is suffering from neglect with little opportunity for psychological stimulation or physical exercise.

PETA Asia is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals.

Take action for animals at: www.petaasia.com

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