The last time we checked in on Cher, she was engaged in a most-worthy cause: freeing the “world’s loneliest elephant” from a miserable life in a Pakistani zoo.
But Cher is moving on. Her new mission — freeing a gorilla that has spent the last three decades behind bars at the top of a Bangkok shopping mall.
Bua Noi, who was brought to Thailand in 1988, has spent most of her life in an enclosure at Pata zoo – a place that has been branded “one of the saddest places in the world” by animal rights group PETA Asia. The group cited animals languishing in concrete cells, deprived of physical or mental stimulation. The owner of the zoo has denied the allegations.
Adding her celebrity clout, she is calling for the gorilla’s release. She has expressed her concerns over Bua Noi’s living conditions, and those of other primates, in a letter to Varawut Silpa-archa, environment minister.
Free the Wild — the animal charity that Cher co-founded — is partnering with Aspinall Foundation to try to secure a sanctuary for the animals at no cost to the zoo’s owner or the Thai government. The plan includes moving Bua Noi to a natural environment in the Republic of Congo, where she will be able to socialize with other primates, Cher said.
Taking her cause to social media, Cher wrote on Twitter, calling upon the “good people of Bangkok” to help her “stop the torturing of innocent animals.” “It Is a Sin. Please Help Me Bring Peace to these Animals &Free Them From Pata Zoo … Shopping Mall.”
As Growing Bolder reported last year, Cher successfully helped free Kaavan, the “world’s loneliest elephant.” Kaavan is now living in a wildlife sanctuary in north-west Cambodia, happily co-mingling with about 600 other elephants.