Pata Zoo


1st Visit: 7th June 2015
2nd Visit: 13th Mar 2017
3rd Visit: Apr 2018

Pata Zoo is the infamous zoo at the top of the shopping mall in the centre of Bangkok. It has reached these dubious heights, not only from its unorthodox location, but the fact that it houses Thailand's one and only gorilla, Bua Noi. In recent years Thai animal welfare activists have made repeated attempts to free her from this zoo, only to be met with resistance and to see the zoo regain its zoo license year after year.

Though tigers have been reported in the passed, and there are photos found online to that effect, our researchers have not seen any tigers residing there. The range of animals suffering alongside Bua Noi in this zoo, include orangutans, chimpanzees, various macaques, sheep, squirrels, various bird species, binturong, hog badger and porcupines. Other animals seen throughout the various visits include a penguin, a baboon, two jackals and two leopard cubs though these all seem to have since disappeared.

First visit: 7th June 2015

The zoo appears to be rather rundown, not surprising given its location and the lack of visitors. Cages are all small, inadequate and not not species-specific in any way. Most animals displayed some form of stereotypy, notably a lone baboon repeatedly smashing its head into the side of the cage, a hornbill that had plucked all the feathers out of its neck and a young male chimp running back and forth along the same spot.

In the reptile and aquarium area, the situation was marginally better with these animals provided more natural cages albeit small ones. Interestingly, our researchers also found to leopard cubs - a regular spotted one and a black one, running around a small room that appeared to be a nursery. They were alone and looked to be anywhere from 3 to 6 months. The living environment was highly inadequate, complete with medical equipment, shelves and trolleys. The cubs had been provided a couple of stuffed toys and had each other for company.

Second visit: 13th March 2017

No change in the living conditions of any of the animals. However there was no sign of the two leopard cubs observed two years before. The small room where they had been kept was empty and they were not in any of the enclosures. However, one section that had previously been open to the public, was now closed off. There were further cages there, which is where the leopards could be kept.

Elsewhere in the zoo, welfare was of the same low standard as before. Bua Noi remained hiding, the oranguatans begged for food and the lone male chimp expressed desire to play. The baboon cage was now, unsurprisingly, empty.

Third visit: April 2018

Similar to the last visit, there was no change in terms of welfare conditions for the animals. There were a few more animals no longer around, noticeably the penguin and jackal cages were now empty. No other animal had been moved into replace them so the collection is gradually decreasing in size.

All areas were spotless, but our researchers were followed about by a staff member who was concerned that our researchers were there to do an expose. This is presumably coming on the heels of a recent journalist's report, complete with photographs, detailing the appalling conditions of this and other Thai zoos. The staff member was at great pains to explain they take care of all their animals with food, water and keeping clean.

Be that as it may, there is serious neglect in terms of the mental and physical welfare of the animals, no proper enrichment or natural enclosures and there appears to be a lack of medical care with many animals with large, self-given injuries.

Bua Noi was more sociable than on previous visits, but the zoo was quiet and she'd also been given a cartoon of soy milk, which she was engrossed in. Later one of the orangutans was brought out for photos.

No improvements, but nothing worse either. Nevertheless, it still ranks in the bottom tier in terms of animal welfare.

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What we are doing to help

At this time we are raising awareness for the situation of the captive tigers in Thailand through education of the public and through a number of different petitions.

Head to our Petition zone to see how you can help.

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