Disturbing pictures of emaciated animals surfaced online recently. The pictures and videos exhibit extreme cases of animal torture. Bears can be seen begging for food, tigers are pacing around hungry, the cattle has hollows for where fat should have covered the bones and chimpanzees are calling out from their tiny enclosures. These disturbing images and videos are from Samut Prakan, the first crocodile farm in Bangkok.
A crocodile farm and zoo in Bangkok – The Samut Prakan, has come under fire for animals’ condition in its care.
The photos and videos from this zoo surfaced online, and since then, the zoo has been receiving flak for its treatment of animals or mistreatment of it’s animals to be apt. Hailed as “Hell on Earth for animals” by animal activists at PETA, the visitors recall nothing but sheer torture of it’s animals.
The details include Bears begging for food, almost abraded cattle and Tigers sitting lifelessly in a ditch or pacing around waiting for food to be given to them. The cattle kept in the zoo was desperately skinny, and orangutans can be seen reaching out to visitors asking for food, crying for help.
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The Reason Is As Absurd As The Animal Torture
On visiting, the bears were seen rocking back-and-forth and begging for food in their tiny enclosures. The tigers and crocodiles were lying in filthy water in their respective enclosures. This inhumane situation was brought to light when the government dispatched a vet to inspect.
He said that the animals were thin because they were kept in cramped enclosures and had to fight for food. The vet was concerned about how the animals were kept inside the enclosures and left starving. This happened at the zoo in Thailand’s capital – Bangkok, which is an alarming situation, given the country is best known for tourism. PETA activists and animal lovers around the world are now questioning the ethos of using animals for attracting tourism.
The visitors, however, think that the zoo failed to look after the animals during the lockdown because it lacked funds to support it. After it was reopened post-lockdown, the neglect animals had been through was apparent and raised the alarms.
A local photographer, Umpon Thongmeungluang, said how he almost cried noticing how the tigers have become extremely malnourished from pacing anxiously around a pound in the enclosure, with little to no food. He felt extremely disturbed and wanted to voice his concerns about the state of the vulnerable tigers.
How Did It All Surface?
Things took a wild turn when the pictures of the scrawny-looking bears in the grim enclosure at the zoo were sent to the government officials and released online by certain visitors. The national park, wildlife, and breeding department decided to inspect the zoo on February 15th.
The photographer, Umpon, said that the animals were getting skinnier, tired, abraded and felt apologetic over the condition of the animals at the zoo. He was deeply upset about the treatment and recalled a situation where the tigers were walking in circles, wondering when someone would feed them. The pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone, and circumstances were different at the zoo before the lockdown. They had tourists pouring in, which made it possible to provide better conditions for the animals.
Umpon took pictures of the scrawny animals such as cows, bears, crocodiles, and monkeys. He wanted to bring this alarming situation to light.
The Unapologetic Zoo Keepers!
The zoo manager, Uthen Yangprapakorn, claimed in an interview that the animals were well taken care of. He mentioned how none of the animals had any health issues, and the African cow is naturally thin and not similar to the cows that are bred in our neighborhoods. He flippantly added that the animal sizes could not be changed to suit the tastes of the tourists. As the pictures and videos suggest, the reality is far grimmer than the manager lets on. His comments did not match the actual situation.
The Situation on-ground
The zoo opened up in 1950, and it was the every first crocodile farm back then. Today, it is home to a large number of animals. Visitors can find African cows, monkeys, bears, tigers, plenty of crocodiles. The PETA alleges that this particular zoo has been ignoring and shrugging off complaints regarding neglect of animals. This behaviour and animal neglect has probably been going on for a few years.
The founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, Edwin Weik, recently paid a visit to the infamous zoo and admitted to being disgusted by the conditions of the zoo animals. He says, “I visited this zoo a few weeks ago and was appalled by the condition almost all the animals were in… Malnutrition is the main problem at the moment, but the living quarters are way below any acceptable standard.”
Recently, the zoo filed for bankruptcy, and all the animal rights activists are hailing it as a victory. The zoo has been notoriously in the news for keeping more than 60,000 crocodiles of different breeds and sizes. It drew tourists through its animal shows, where psychologically neglected and malnourished animals were forced to perform tricks and entertain crowds. With such a strong action taken and the zoo looking out for liquidation, there is hope that these animals will be rehomed and rehabilitated.