Pata Zoo is located on the 6th and 7th floors of the shopping mall Pata Pinklao in the centre of Bangkok. The infamous zoo has been active since the ‘80s. This place arouses a great deal of controversy because of the inhumane treatment of animals. The zoo was founded by wild animal dealer. Location of this place may be surprising considering the fact that on the lower floors there’re shops with electronics, clothing and groceries.
On the 6th floor there’re pavilions with reptiles, amphibians and small rodents. The room is filled with darkness and suffocating odor that strikes you right from the entrance. Cages and terrariums are small, dirty, outdated and without proper equipment. The giant freshwater stingray (an endangered species), which is trapped in a microscopic pool, makes a depressing impression. There is also a scene on 6th floor, where animals (mostly monkeys) are forced to perform in public shows.
On the last floor of the shopping mall, there are cages with mammals for example chimpanzees, orangutans, macaques, gibbons, golden jackals, sheep, goats, porcupines and numerous species of birds. The animals are dejected and resigned, some of them show clear sings of stereotypy. The runways are devoid of elements that would provide any stimulation. There are tires and chains in larger monkeys’ cages, but it’s not enough to save them from suffering from apathy. Monkeys are feed with a carton milk…
In previous years, tigers and leopards were also kept in the Pata Zoo but after numerous objections they were relocated to other facilities. Currently the main attraction of the Pata Zoo is a female African gorilla named Bua Noi. She has been held captive since 1987, when she was probably captured in the wild and sold to the zoo (she’s allegedly the only female gorilla in Thailand).
The petition to close the zoo and relocate Bua Noi to sanctuary was signed by more than 35 000 people. Unfortunately, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) decided that the zoo operates in accordance with the law and there are no regulations that would prohibit keeping animals in such conditions.
In Thailand, where tourism based on animal cruelty is a huge problem and the standards of protection of wild species are relatively very low, the Pata Zoo is considered as the worst zoo in the country. Despite people’s opinion and countless protests, it has been functioning unchanged for several decades.