PETA has launched an online appeal, titled ‘Tell Phuket Zoo to Improve the Living Conditions of the Animals!’, urging people to petition Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha about the conditions the zoo’s animals are kept in.
“Most people who visit the zoo are appalled by the conditions that the animals are kept in. Animals are housed in barren, cramped, and filthy cages,” the online appeal says.
“Some animals, like the elephants, are kept chained and only released from their constraints to perform in shows. Tigers and apes are reportedly drugged in order to allow patrons to have their photographs taken with them.
“All the animals are prevented from doing most of the things that are natural and important to them, such as running, roaming, flying, climbing, foraging, choosing a partner, and spending time with others of their own kind.
A spokesperson for Phuket Zoo, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Phuket News that the manager of the zoo was not aware of the PETA appeal.
She said the zoo had received complaints from tourists before, usually relating to the size of the zoo’s enclosures.
The spokesperson denied that animals were chained while they were inside their enclosures; “The animals are chained only during shows or when they are being transported for safety reasons.”
She also rejected suggestions that the zoo’s animal population was growing. “We have not taken on any new animals for a long time, and are not looking to do so.”
She said while there are no plans to enlarge the size of the enclosures, the zoo would be focusing on maintaining them properly and improving their condition.
The zoo’s manager was not available for comment.
Recent reviews on tourism review site Tripadvisor.com are overwhelmingly negative.
To read the full appeal from PETA, click here.