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Phuket Opinion: More monkey business at Phuket Zoo

PHUKET: It is just under nine months since Phuket Zoo made the headlines after it was discovered it was housing a 13-year-old orangutan, Milo, in what many saw as inadequate living conditions.

opinion, animals, tourism,


The Phuket News

Sunday 6 November 2016, 09:00AM


Milo, after caged and kept at Phuket Zoo then dumped in the Phuket jungle by Phuket Zoo, died from what wildlife officials called 'poor nutrition'. Now Phuket Zoo has two baby organgutans that were reportedly 'legally acquired from Safari World in Bangkok. Photo: Vicki Kiely
Milo, after caged and kept at Phuket Zoo then dumped in the Phuket jungle by Phuket Zoo, died from what wildlife officials called 'poor nutrition'. Now Phuket Zoo has two baby organgutans that were reportedly 'legally acquired from Safari World in Bangkok. Photo: Vicki Kiely

This news surfaced only after an online petition was posted on Change.org, with a campaign aimed simply at improving Milo’s health, shelter and diet.

After investigating the issue, officials from the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area Office in Thalang, which is responsible for the welfare of wildlife in Phuket and neighbouring provinces, discovered that Phuket Zoo had no records of any orangutans legally registered to be kept at the facility, and that no permit had ever been issued for Phuket Zoo to keep such an animal in its care, as is required by law.

Simply put, Milo was being kept at the zoo for an unknown duration “illegally”.

After learning the news, officials from the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area Office inspected Phuket Zoo in hopes of finding Milo.

However, it was soon discovered that zoo staff had already dumped her in the jungle at Khao Phra Thaew. At that time, Suriya Tanthaweewong, a member of the Board of Directors of Phuket Zoo Co Ltd, said that he had no idea where Milos was, but admitted that he was aware she had been released at Khao Phra Thaew. However, he said that he had no idea when or where she was released.

So it came as somewhat as a surprise to learn this week that Phuket Zoo were now “legally” in possession of two baby orangutans which had been “legally” acquired from Safari World in Bangkok.

But what was even more surprising was the discovery that Phuket Zoo had yet to face any legal action against keeping Milo “illegally”. This despite the fact that Milo died in May due to what officials, who were taking care of her at the time, were told was health complications due to long-term poor nutrition.

So it beggars belief that a facility such as Phuket Zoo, which is a far from a popular attraction amongst the expat community and clearly has no true feelings about the well-being of the animals in their care, can firstly be granted permission to keep more orangutans, and secondly that a facility keeping animals “illegally” and in conditions which later can lead to their deaths, can do so without having to worry about any legal action being taken against them.

 

 

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Rorii | 07 November 2016 - 11:54:39

Joe12....mate, you've lost the plot again, what has your comment got to do with mine, in fact my comment points to the fact I'm not surprised. You need more rest. As for "laissez-faire" that is Thailands biggest problem, a very lazy government.

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Ed Sanders | 06 November 2016 - 21:29:08

No, not surprising at all.  Thai officials don't manage anything...none of them.  The old growth forests have all but been sold off and cut down at the hands of Army Generals and the Forestry Department, National Parks are a trashy mess and in shambles and their budgets are pilfered but Park staff and administration, the Police and Road Safety Officials do nothing while Thailand maintains its position as just about the most dangerous place on the planet, the beaches stink of sewage from all the hotels and residences that officials are supposed to manage, but instead they pocket fees in lieu of doing the right thing... so yes, it is no surprise that the zoo sucks and has shitty conditions for animals.  And that is just the way its going to be...because education, professionalism and ethics are shallow, and corruption runs deep....very deep.

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Joe12 | 06 November 2016 - 19:43:26

Rorii...It's a surprise to you who has been subjected to lifetime of state sponsored interference, to now be living in a country where there is a laissez-faire approach.

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CaptainJack69 | 06 November 2016 - 16:42:26

Yup, Phuket Zoo sucks. Hopefully anyone looking it up on Google will quickly come across this article and others like it and make the wise decision to avoid this catastrophe calling itself a tourist attraction.

Even TripAdvisor (which refuses to post any reviews it considers "political" or to reflect "personal feelings") only gives it 2 stars.

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Rorii | 06 November 2016 - 10:16:34

"But what was even more surprising was the discovery that Phuket Zoo had yet to face any legal action against keeping Milo “illegally,”" "surprising", no, after all this is Thailand.

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