Pata Zoo, Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand's last gorilla resides in Pata Zoo, on the 7th floor of a department store in the middle of Bangkok. She's lived behind glass walls for 31 years, having been taken from her home at the age of 1 in 1988. Her mate passed away over a decade ago; the zoo staff and neighbouring primates her only company since.
She is an incredibly intelligent animal who needs psychological stimulation, space and at the very least, direct sunlight. She has never set foot outside and, her owners use this fact as an excuse to keep her locked away as an "underdeveloped immune system" and lack of experience in the wild poses a threat to her life.
With well over 100,000 signatures to back our fight, Free The Wild aims to have Bua Noi moved to a Sanctuary in Africa, with the help of the Aspinall Foundation and freegorilla.org, a lobby group established to raise awareness for her cause and those of her primate comrades.
Edmonton Valley Zoo, Alberta, Canada
Born in 1975, Lucy is an Asian elephant who has lived in the sub-artic conditions of Canada for over 40 years. She has never been with another Asian elephant and her only companion was taken away in 2006. Edmonton Valley Zoo's limited operating times means even the company of humans is few and far between.
She is 1000 lbs overweight and suffers from significant arthritis and foot disease. She has difficulty bearing weight on her back legs and, due to an inappropriate diet, suffers dental issues and painful colic issues which have caused her to collapse - seen lying down, slapping her stomach with her trunk. With no place to swim, no mud in which to wallow or trees to scratch against, Free The Wild aims to work with Edmonton Valley Zoo to find an amicable solution in securing her release. Despite being 45 years old, Lucy has another 15-20 years left of her life. We aim to collaborate on existing campaigns in Alberta and beyond to see Lucy living those years in an appropriate sanctuary.
Mayagüez Zoo, Puerto Rico
Mundi is the only African elephant at Mayagüez Zoo, Puerto Rico, where she's lived in isolation for over 35 years. Taken from Zimbabwe, Africa, at the age of two, Mundi has lived a life of almost total solitude, endured two tropical storms and now remains captive in a Zoo that is reportedly closed.
Investigations within the zoo have revealed major shortcomings in veterinary care, nutrition and mental stimulation for not only Mundi, but hundreds of other animals that are reportedly in dire need of assistance.
Over the last three years, activists were beginning to make significant progress in her release until a change in the Puerto Rico government, leading to total silence.
FTW aims to re-ignite the project, raise awareness for Mundi's cause and work alongside existing campaigners and the Puerto Rico government to find an appropriate solution for her and Mayagüez Zoo.
Four African elephants are suffering in incredible pain in Karachi, Pakistan. 2 of the elephants, Malaika and Sonu, reside at Karachi Safari Park, and the other two at Karachi Zoo. In both locations, the elephants are showing signs of physical and psychological pain.
Malaika and Sonu need urgent medical attention as they have developed swollen limbs, cracked nails and the onset of foot rot. Infections in the feet are common among captive elephants and in most cases, immediate treatment will suffice. However, these elephants have not had medical attention since their feet became infected and they struggle to bear their own weight.
Please help us send urgent veterinary care to Karachi!
L.A. Zoo, Los Angeles, United States of America
Billy the Asian elephant has called Los Angeles Zoo home for nearly thirty years. In that time, he's had little-to-no stimulation and developed stereotypical beahviours associated with isolation, frustration and stress. Campaigners and anti-captivity lobbyists have been advocating for his release for years and, almost made headway when the Zoo agreed to drastically improve Billy's enclosure and quality of life. It seems to have transpired however, that the improvements are inadequate and Billy's health and wellbeing remains at risk.
Free The Wild aims to investigate the means for Billy to be relocated, and work with groups such as Free Billy the Elephant and the Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles to have him moved to a reputable sanctuary.
Lviv, West Ukraine
Masha is a 22-year-old, female Eurasian Brown Bear who, until recently, remained in a temporary holding facility in South Lviv, West Ukraine.
She was taken from her mother when she was just a few weeks old and made to perform at a long-established Circus in Ukraine.
There, she was made to jump through hoops, ride a scooter and interact with the crowd on a daily basis, before returning to a tiny cage on the back of a truck, everyday for 19 years.
As of 22 March 2022, she has been successfully transferred to her new forever home; AMP Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Romania, where she'll live out the rest of her days in the company of over 100 rescued brown bears.
UKRAINE LIONS & TIGER
Seven lions and a solitary tigress were reported to us as being captive and in distress in two different zoos in Ukraine. Lionel De Lange, who has been involved in a number of big cat rescues prior, informed us of their condition and reached out for assistance.
Born in captivity, none of the cats had ever stepped foot on grass nor felt the sun on their backs. They lived in small cages of concrete and steel, sometimes sharing the space and often injured each other as a result.
Free The Wild set out to help relocate the cats from the zoos to an appropriate long-term home in South Africa.
As of 15 January 2022, the cats have been successfully transferred and now live in total peace.
Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, Siem Reap, Cambodia
After more than five years of dedication from Free The Wild's Super-Star Trustee, Anika Sleem and founders, Cher, Mark Cowne and Gina Nelthorpe-Cowne, the "world's loneliest elephant" was finally released from Islamabad Zoo on 30 November 2020, after 35 years in captivity.
With the help of Four Paws International, Free The Wild arranged for Kaavan to be transported from Marghazar Zoo in Pakistan, to Cambodia Wildife Sanctuary - a branch of the world-renowned, Save Elephant Foundation, run by Lek Chailert and Darrick Thomson. There, he'll be free of neglect, abuse and isolation. Sharing his enclosure with the presence of three female elephant companions and with CWS' plans to prepare a further 10 hectares for him to explore, we are immensely proud to have been able to finally help him achieve his freedom!
Islamabad Wildlife Board, Pakistan
Daboo is only 2 and a 1/2 months old and he's already seen his fair share of torture.
Only a few weeks after he was born, his mother was shot and killed by poachers. Daboo was found and sold on by the poachers, but not before his ears were clipped and glued to the sides of his head.
Before long, he was taken to Lahore Zoo whose weather conditions alone, never mind the facilities or staff training, make it unfit to provide appropriate care for bears.
Free The Wild worked with Anila Umair from Critters Ark Welfare to secure Daboo's freedom from the zoo, and have him transferred to Islamabad Wildlife Board - they helped us with Kaavan! The IWB has the right facilities and specially-trained staff to ensure Daboo's long-term health and happiness.
Ridiyagama Safari Park, Hambantota, Sri Lanka
Vishwa was brought to our attention after we found an alarming clip of his mahout beating him with a bullhook online. We immediately created a petition to have him moved and, within just two days, the Director General of Sri Lanka's zoological department moved him to Pinnawela Orphanage as a temporary solution. He was born in Pinnawela and so to escape the abuse to return to a place of relative peace was a wonderful achievement in itself. Since then however, he's been released into Ridiyagama Safari Park, where he now roams completely chain-free!
The team at Free The Wild are eternally grateful for Ishini Wickremesinghe and her team's support and their rapid action in having Vishwa safely moved from his temple prison.