Cher calls for a Thai zoo to rehome a sad, single female gorilla who has lived in a cage at a shopping mall for 30 years

Neil Mockford/GC ImagesCher seen leaving The Langham Hotel before heading to BBC Broadcasting House in London, England on December 9, 2020.
  • Cher has called for a gorilla named Bua Noi who has spent over 30 years living above a shopping mall in Thailand to be rehomed.
  • Pata Zoo is located on the 6th and 7th floors of the Pata Pinklao Department Store in Bangkok and is where Bua Noi has spent her life in a cage since 1988, according to The Guardian.
  • PETA Asia previously described it as “one of the saddest places in the world” and called for it to be shut down after an investigation revealed that the animals were confined to concrete cells with no physical or mental stimulation, The Telegraph added.
  • Last week, Cher travelled to a sanctuary in Cambodia following a successful campaign to relocate Kaavan, the “world’s loneliest elephant,” from a controversial zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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Cher has called for a gorilla named Bua Noi, who has spent over 30 years living above a shopping mall in Thailand, to be rehomed.

Pata Zoo is located on the 6th and 7th floors of the Pata Pinklao Department Store in Bangkok and is where Bua Noi has spent her life in a cage since 1988, according to The Guardian.

Animal welfare campaigners have long criticised the private zoo and the organisation Free Gorilla added that the lack of visitors due to the pandemic would have made the animals at the zoo even more isolated this year, The Washington Post reported.

PETA Asia previously described it as “one of the saddest places in the world” and called for it to be shut down after an investigation revealed that the animals were confined to concrete cells with no physical or mental stimulation, The Telegraph added.

Cher wrote to Thailand’s Environmental Minister, Varawut Silpa-archa, in a letter dated December 5. She asked him to “find it in his heart” to help release the gorilla, according to The Washington Post.

She said that Free the Wild, a charity which she co-founded, has teamed up with the Aspinall Foundation to fund Bua Noi’s transfer to a sanctuary in the Republic of the Congo, The Guardian reported.

The letter referred to the sanctuary as “a home of peace and dignity where she could live out her life in a natural environment and companionship with other species,” The Guardian added.

Silpa-archa responded that the zoo was now devising a plan to relocate the animals and that the plight of the zoo’s lone gorilla had not been forgotten, according to Sky News.

He said: “I, myself as minister in charge of wildlife conservation, have given instruction to the relevant agencies in order to find the best solution for a better life of Bua Noi.”

Pata Zoo also made headlines after an image appeared to show the gorilla appearing to weep in its cage, which led to the actress Gillian Anderson calling for its closure in May this year.

However, Kanit Sermsirimongkol, the Zoo Director, has rejected the criticism and told Sky News that enclosures were spacious, disinfected daily, and that the gorilla eats two kilograms of fruit and vegetables every day and has access to sunlight.

He said: “Pata Zoo would like to clarify the news on social media which provides inaccurate information about Pata Zoo by using personal feelings to judge rather than reasons and facts.

“It creates a buzz with distorted information such as the gorilla shows grief and cries. In fact, gorillas cannot cry because they do not have lacrimal glands like humans.”

He added that animals raised in the zoo could not be released to survive in the wild as they are accustomed to the zoo environment.

According to The Washington Post, Sermsirimongkol also said: “Want to send her back to nature? We should think about the animals’ quality of life in the jungle. They are under threat from diseases like AIDS and Ebola, as well as civil wars and poachers.”

Cher took to Twitter to call the zoo owner a “greedy” and “money hungry man” who was profiting at the expense of animals “trapped” in captivity in a tweet posted on December 6.

The singer also later tweeted: “Good People Of Bangkok I Know You Will Understand & Help Me Stop The Torturing Of Innocent Animals. It Is a Sin. Please Help Me Bring Peace to these Animals. &Free Them From Pata Zoo…Shopping Mall Inshallah. Namaste”

The news comes after Cher travelled to a sanctuary in Cambodia after a successful campaign to relocate Kaavan, the “world’s loneliest elephant,” from a controversial zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan.

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