By Mark McConville
SHOCKING images and video footage has revealed the world’s saddest zoo as animals are held captive on the highest floor of a shopping centre.
The disturbing video shows a distressed-looking gorilla rolling around his tiny enclosure, a big cat pacing up and down a small space and sheep crammed into a fenced area much too small for them.
Other heartbreaking pictures show a fed-up Hornbill, a white monkey who seems to be pleading for help and the dilapidated nature of the zoo.
The distressing footage and photographs were taken at Pata Zoo in Bangkok, Thailand by freelance journalist Julian King.
“On the highest floor of a shopping mall these animals are held captive for over 30 years living in horrible conditions,” he said.
“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.
“Animal protection laws are practically non-existent in Thailand, and those that do exist are extremely vague, making them difficult to enforce.”
Bua Noi was captured from the wild when she was just a baby, and she’s lived in a barred cage by herself ever since. While there had been previous efforts to rescue Bua Noi and transfer her to a sanctuary, she’s sadly still there.
This wouldn’t be the first time Pata Zoo has received negative press for its mistreatment of animals, so it may come as a surprise that the zoo remains open. In 2014, Thailand even introduced an animal welfare law that technically protects animals against this kind of facility — but the law isn’t always enforced.
Despite the ongoing challenges of helping animals in Thailand, animal welfare advocates are still hoping that Pata Zoo will eventually close down.
“The Pata Zoo is a disgrace for all legitimate zoos in Thailand,” Edwin Wiek, director and founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, previously said in an interview.
“The animal welfare and safety at Pata Zoo are way below even Thailand’s standards. Historically, the zoo was founded by a notorious wildlife trader and this facility does not fit in the world of 2018. We can’t wait for authorities to finally close it down.”