You want to know what two things should never go together? Peanut Butter and gasoline. There is no scenario in life where those two words should be used in the same sentence. Another instance of this is Shopping Mall Zoo.
That’s what photographer Aaron Gekoski found himself in at the Pata Zoo in Bangkok, Thailand. Yes that’s right you walk into an elevator at a mall, go up, and see some of the most distressed animals in captivity. This looks like something you would see in the apocalypse, not 2018.
Gekoski talked to The Dodo and said:
“The mall itself is innocuous, a little run-down, though you’d never guess such a place existed at the top of it.”
Once he got there he couldn’t believe how terrible the conditions were. He then saw a orangutan laying defeated on the ground.
He went on to say:
“[It] was a sobering experience. In the wild, orangutans are generally solitary animals and spend very little time on the ground. They even build nests and sleep high up in the canopy. So to see them acting this way is completely unnatural behavior.”
In addition to the orangutan there were two chimpanzees, a gorilla and three more orangutans. They had other animals too like flamingoes, ponies and more random animals. I really don’t get why PETA hasn’t caused an uproar about this place.
“It was a very dark, dirty and depressing place to visit and felt a little postapocalyptic. Orangutans share over 96 percent DNA with us and possess many human emotions — they seemed incredibly bored and depressed, as did the chimp.
One of the enclosures was so dirty you could barely make out there was a chimpanzee inside.”
The gorilla that sits in his cage has been there for over 30 years. Her name is Bua Noi and she’s been there since she was a baby. Even though some conservationists have tried to save her, they have failed and she is still there.
Gekoski said that she, “just sat there tearing up pieces of paper and drinking from a plastic bottle.”
He also mentioned:
“Tourists can get ahold of food to give to the animals. Behavior wasn’t being monitored closely. I even saw one man pulling and playing with an orangutan’s lip.”
I wanted to seek another opinion other than Gekoski just to see how bad it really was. Look at a few of these Trip Advisor reviews.
“Of the thousands of images I took in Thailand, this was one of the most hard-hitting. I’ve even had people contact me on social media saying it made them cry.
This is the sort of response I want to evoke in people — we need to get emotional about cruel wildlife tourism.”