While living in Singapore, the Night Safari was the first thing that AsiaPundit suggested when tourists asked what was worth seeing. After reading this report and others, I’m considering saying ‘Chiang Mai Night Safari’ when asked ‘what’s worth boycotting?’:
Kenyan conservationists are furious after the government agreed to ship wild animals to a Thai zoo that is offering its visitors a chance to eat giraffe, zebra and crocodile.
Kenya recently agreed to send 175 wild animals including giraffes, buffalos, flamingos and gazelles to the newly-built Chiang Mai Night Safari in northern Thailand. This week, the zoo announced that it would celebrate its official opening on New Year’s Day with an “exotic buffet”, where guests can pay 4,500 bhat (£64) to sample anything from dog to lion meat. The director of the zoo project, Plodprasop Suraswadi, said the animals would be legally imported and killed for the feast.
The announcement has dismayed wildlife groups in Kenya, who already had misgivings about sending wild animals to a zoo in Thailand. No endangered animals are being sent, but Richard Leakey, former head of Kenya Wildlife Services, said the plans went against the ethos of modern conservation. He added: “Some of the larger zoos do serve a useful role in education but for Kenyan animals to be sent there as a curtain-raiser for an institution that is probably serving endangered species from south-east Asia is appalling.
“What this zoo is doing is serving bushmeat - and bushmeat is one of the greatest conservation challenges of the 21st century.”
Thailand already has a reputation for being a trading centre for the illegal trafficking of endangered species, and Thai wildlife groups have said the menu will confuse visitors about the real objectives of the zoo.The problem with the ‘bush meat’
Africa is lousy with zebra, and one of AsiaPundit’s signature barbecue dishes is “tequila-marinated crocodile fajita.” However, this goes against the concept of a ‘zoo’ as a refuge that modern institutions generally hold dear. More disturbing is that a report linked to by Maganoy’s Samsara mentions that tiger - endangered everywhere - is also on the menu.
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