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UPDATE: Phuket Zoo animals left abandoned and starving – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: Phuket Zoo animals left abandoned and starving – VIDEO | The Thaiger
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UPDATE:

Edwin Wiek, Founder at People & Animals Thailand, has made this announcement relating to the tigers at the Phuket Zoo…

There are some fundraisers ongoing on the net to help the tigers at PHUKET ZOO that are in need of help. Please be informed that these fundraising campaigns are set up by private people who are not owners of the tigers, have no legal access to the tigers or are involved with the rescue of these tigers. The tigers will not be released by the owners to anyone, authorities will check on the tigers and other wildlife later today but have said they will not confiscate or ask for a hand over. Owners have said they will keep the tigers for a newly build zoo on Phuket.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The owners of the Phuket Zoo, obviously bereft of paying customers at this time, appear to have walked away from their duty of care to the animals incarcerated in this island ‘tourist attraction’. We use the term loosely (read the Trip Advisor comments below). But now a video has been posted by a groups of friends who came across the zoo this week.

“Me and my mates went for a walk and came across an abandoned zoo still filled with animals. The owner has gone bankrupt and times are hard during this pandemic.”

A group of friends stumbled on the apparently abandoned Phuket Zoo and filmed an animal horror show. What they found was horrendous and has given some of them nightmares since their visit, according to the narration. They posted an edited version of the video they shot on April 16.

‘Minh Nguyen’, an Australian from Arncliffe, NSW, posted the video saying that they’ve now been reaching out and getting support behind their efforts to provide some immediate relief and hopefully save the abandoned animals in the zoo.

“They can die from starvation, they can die from stress, they’re disturbed, they’re living in shit conditions.

The came across a zoo staff member who told them…

“If you want to give the tiger food, give money, about 7,000 baht and that will buy 50 pieces of chicken – that would feed one tiger for one day.”

Later in the video Minh says that the owner admitted that they couldn’t afford to feed the animals and that the owner wanted to close the zoo down (unspecified if it’s either temporarily or forever).

UPDATE: Phuket Zoo animals left abandoned and starving - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

Meanwhile, Phuket wildlife officials said they wouldn’t check on the tiger being caged up in Chalong’s Phuket Zoo until today.

Local wildlife officials confirmed to The Phuket News that Phuket Zoo will file a formal request to close the tourist attraction blaming the economic conditions forced on the attraction with lockdowns and zero tourism on the island at the moment. All animal tourism attractions, including Phuket Zoo, were ordered closed on March 28 by Phuket’s governor.

The Chief of the Khao Phra Thaew Non-Hunting Area Conservation Centre says they were already aware of the plight of the tiger from social media posts.

“I know from experts that tigers must not be too fat, but this tiger looks so thin. I am worried about the tiger and other animals while the zoo is closing.”

The Chief said that they weren’t able to go and check on the welfare of the tiger, or other animals at the zoo, because “the owner wasn’t around”. He then contradicted himself, in comments to Phuket News when he maintained that there were zoo staff were still there and feeding the animals. Indeed there appears to be staff available to let in officials in the posted video.

The Phuket Zoo has an infamous reputation in social media where people have shared posts of pathetic looking animals for years and urged people not to go. Sited next to the dolphinarium in Chalong, the two attractions have come under constant fire from animal rights supporters.

There has also been two high profile cases, that of Milo the Orangutan and Dumbo the baby elephant – both neglected or abused, and both now dead.

UPDATE: Phuket Zoo animals left abandoned and starving - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

I have been witness to the capricious and unprofessional nature of the Phuket Zoo’s management in the past when investigating, mostly, the story of Milo the Orangutan. In that case we called, actually demanded, that Phuket wildlife officials come to see for themselves the horrible situation that Milo was in. 24 hours later, when the officials, and the local media circus, arrived at the zoo there had been a make-over turning the horror show into a wonderland. Everything had been repainted, the tatty gardens had been cleaned up, paths washed and all the staff dressed up in spanking-new shirts.

The local wildlife officials were taken aside, out of the view of the media, and ‘negotiations’ were made to sort out the complaints against the zoo. And everything was good again. Just 9 months ago the ‘zoo’ was again inspected by the same wildlife officials and allowed to continue trading.

But don’t believe us, read what the island’s visitors say about Phuket Zoo…

• This was unreal! As soon as we seen the tiger with the chain around it’s neck, we wanted to leave! They were basically just parading the animals so u wld get a photo with them for money! The animals were not looked after at al! – vicki86paul2016

• I have been visiting here 15 years ago, 8 years ago and now, I just want to say if you wish to throw your 44 euro per person + taxi cost, give that money someone on the street, I believe it will make you happy to see some child get happy and smile to you who really need that will make you happy than going and seeing 2 elephant, 2 monkey, some birds, small crocodile, no tiger, no fish, no sea turtle, disgusting place – ISML68

• Tigers seemed to be have been drugged, zookeepers would poke them with sticks just so people could take photos… Filthy living spaces for the animals with very limited water in all the enclosures – Belladellarco

• This is just scam. The cost of ticket is really out of mind for what you get. Shows was terrible, it was abandoned, no animals, nobody cares of them, aquarium was closed. The main attraction was in ruin and without animals – petk0vic

Please go ahead and read the 134 pages of reviews for this awful place.

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Thailand

Major international retailers banning monkey-picked coconuts – VIDEO

Jack Burton

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Major international retailers banning monkey-picked coconuts – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: The Culture Trip

Allegations of animal abuse are prompting major Western retailers to pull Thai coconut products from their shelves, amid accusations that the coconuts are picked by monkeys treated inhumanely. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claim monkeys are snatched from the wild and trained to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day. The animal rights group says pigtailed macaques are treated like “coconut-picking machines”.

PETA claims monkeys are used by farms supplying 2 of Thailand’s best known coconut milk brands: Aroy-D and Chaokoh, which are exported to many countries, including Europe and the US.

“Following PETA Asia’s investigation, more than 15,000 stores will no longer purchase these brands’ products, with the majority also no longer buying any coconut products sourced from Thailand monkey labour.”

The BBC reports that in the UK, major retailers Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op and Boots are pledging to stop selling some coconut products from Thailand.

“Our own-brand coconut milk and coconut water does not use monkey labour in its production and we don’t sell any of the branded products identified by Peta. We don’t tolerate these practices and would remove any product from sale that is known to have used monkey labour during its production.”

The Morrisons chain said it has already removed products made with monkey-picked coconuts from its shelves. Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second largest grocery chain, told the BBC…

“We are actively reviewing our ranges and investigating this complex issue with our suppliers.”

A PETA statement says it has found 8 farms in Thailand where monkeys are forced to pick coconuts for export around the world. Male monkeys are reportedly able to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day; it’s thought that a human can pick about 80.

“Other coconut-growing regions, including Brazil, Colombia and Hawaii, harvest coconuts using humane methods such as tractor-mounted hydraulic elevators, willing human treeclimbers, rope or platform systems, ladders, or they simply plant dwarf coconut trees.”

The group says it’s also discovered “monkey schools,” where the animals are trained to pick fruit, as well as ride bikes or play basketball to entertain tourists.

“The animals at these facilities, many of whom are illegally captured as babies, displayed stereotypic behaviour indicative of extreme stress. Monkeys were chained to old tyres or confined to cages that were barely large enough for them to turn around in.”

“One monkey in a cage on a lorry (truck) bed was seen frantically shaking the cage bars in a futile attempt to escape, and a screaming monkey on a rope desperately tried to run away from a handler.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Politics

Opposition questions ministry’s plan to buy firefighting helicopters

Jack Burton

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Opposition questions ministry’s plan to buy firefighting helicopters | The Thaiger
PHOTO: cm108.com

Thailand’s interior minister yesterday defended his plan to purchase 6 firefighting helicopters, saying the ministry doesn’t have any such helicopters and relies on military choppers to fight wildfires, “which aren’t up to the task”. Anupong Paojinda was responding to an objection raised by the opposition during yesterday’s House debate on the budget bill for the financial year 2021.

“I’m sure those MPs in northern provinces know that the best the military helicopters borrowed for fighting wildfires ever did was carry water to pour on the fires, without sufficient accuracy in target identification.”

Wildfires are common in Thailand’s North, especially during the annual “burning season,” usually February through April, when farmers burn their crop fields in preparation for the next growing season. The minister said up to 6 wildfire-fighting helicopters are needed because they would be used in rotation to allow regular maintenance.

The Pheu Thai Party MP for Chiang Rai said the ministry’s plan to purchase 2 helicopters for fighting wildfires this year, at a cost of 1.8 billion baht, isn’t worth it, as the country already has more than 300 helicopters. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation plans to buy the 6 helicopters by 2022, an outlay he said is unnecessary and should be scrapped. He says the order was made to help a private company win a lucrative contract at a time when Anupong was serving as the army chief.

Anupong responded that the DDPM is responsible for picking the helicopter supplier via a transparent and accountable bidding process, and that as long as the company that wins the bidding strictly follows the law, there is no problem. He vowed to take legal action against anyone found acting illegally.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Environment

Government nominates Tham Luang park for ASEAN heritage ranking

Maya Taylor

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Government nominates Tham Luang park for ASEAN heritage ranking | The Thaiger
PHOTO: AFP

The Thai government has nominated Tham Luang Forest Park in the northern province of Chiang Rai for ASEAN heritage status. The park made headline news around the world when 13 young boys and their football coach became trapped in Tham Luang cave following flooding.

Today marks two years to the day that all 14 were found alive by a team of volunteer divers from the UK and Thailand. At that stage, they had been missing for 9 days. Such were the complexities involved in getting them out, they would spend a total of 17 days in the cave. Their story became headline news, with the world anxiously watching a dramatic rescue that unfolded over the course of 3 days.

Tham Luang Forest Park is now going through the process of becoming a national park, and, following a proposal by Thailand’s Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, has been nominated for ASEAN heritage status. Khao Sok National Park, in southern Thailand, has also been nominated. The ranking would boost the profiles of both parks, which it’s hoped would lead to an increase in funding for conservation projects. It’s understood several endangered species can be found within Tham Luang Forest Park, which is also surrounded by 10 ethnic groups, including the Tai-Yai and Akha peoples.

There are currently 6 parks with ASEAN heritage status in Thailand.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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