There has been a feline frenzy at our park, where authorities have declared that the park's cute cats have crossed the line...
What's up, I hear you ask?
The Thai authorities have stepped in to curtail growing numbers of cats at Lumpini Park, Bangkok. Their solution was to round up as many cats as they could catch to spay and neuter them.
The Bangkok Post and The Nation newspapers have reported with sad photos of groggy moggies, sedated, all lined up ready to be taken away.
Fair enough the locals cried, until news broke that the cats would not be returned.
Lumpini Park, Bangkok
Lumpini is our local park, one of the biggest in our crazy busy city. It is where people come to connect, either with each other or with their inner sporty spice. At times it is so crowded that it's hard to walk!
It is one of the few areas in this urban jungle where you can be at one with nature. You can see why the cats would be happy to live here. People often post pictures of the Lumpini cats and love to interact with them.
Cat Lovers Lumpini
The Thai Buddhists try to show loving kindness to all beings, and this includes animals. There are plenty of shrines within the park for daily devotional practice and quiet offerings and the cats are not left out.
They get gourmet dining, it's not unusual to see cats enjoying fine dining of rice, or drinking from makeshift water bowls and I've even seen people with arriving with tins of cat food!
There are also some reports that the reasons why cat numbers are increasing are that people seeing the happy cats, well fed and living away from the roads, choose the park to abandon their own unwanted cats.
The animal population is pretty strictly controlled by park authorities. You only occasionally see wild dogs in the park, and last year the authorities targeted and removed many of the large monitor lizards who terrorized tourists.
Some argue the authorities have themselves caused the increase in cats at the park, by removing their natural predictors the monitor lizards. Who knows, I saw the lizards eating many birds and turtles but luckily never a cat.
What is for certain is that maybe the authorities underestimated how adored the Lumpini cats were and did not expect such a public response.
Cat lovers in Bangkok did not take this lying down, the news that the cats would not be returned to the park led to outrage and protest and a local group called cat Lovers Lumpini collected all the cats.
The good news is adoption homes have been found for all except one of the cats at this time. You can find out more here.
Do you have a problem with animals in your local parks?
What do the authorities do? Is it live and let, survival of the fittest
or is there an animal management policy?
Linking with thanks to Our World Tuesday