Animal rights organization PETA on Thursday issued a statement demanding Bangkok’s infamous Pata Zoo close down after a fire broke there.
Yesterday’s fire only compounded the suffering of the animals kept at the nearly 40-year-old private zoo, PETA Asia representative Nirali Shah said in a statement.
“Just when it seemed like the suffering of the animals at Pata Zoo couldn’t get any worse, it turns out it can,” Shah said. “Confinement to cramped cages in which life consists of just pacing back and forth each day is enough to make anyone go crazy. Now, the effects of the fire mean these animals are suffering even more. It’s time to shut the zoo for good.”
On Wednesday morning, a fire broke out at the Pata Pinklao department store the private Pata Zoo sits atop on the 6th and 7th floors. There were no reports of casualties, human or animal, though pictures circulated in the media showed the building filled with smoke.
Peta said it “stands ready” to facilitate the transfer of the animals to a new place in a proper environment.
Zoo owner Kanit Sermsirimongkol has steadfastly defended the zoo and fought off numerous efforts by animal activists to shut it down or free its animals, including one very old and sad gorilla.
U.S.-based rights organization PETA has offices in Hong Kong and Manila, with an outpost operating near the Chathuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok.