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Animal lover Natalie Glebova with a gibbon dressed as a human baby

Gibbon Cuddling Phi Phi Beauty Makes the Media Into a Beast

Saturday, March 7, 2015
PHUKET: Natalie Glebova, a former Miss Universe and Playboy cover girl caught petting a protected gibbon on Phi Phi, has done what all self-respecting celebrities do: blamed the media.

As an intelligent woman who has even in the past been associated with animal liberation causes, we thought Ms Glebova might be aware that wild animals are not supposed to be dressed like baby humans to be petted by tourists.

No, we were wrong. She genuinely did not think at the time that she was doing something bad.

''Cutest gibbon in the cutest little outfit'' were the words on the Facebook post.

Days later and suddenly aware of her moral mistake, Ms Glebova is now venting on the media.

Here's what she has to say now on Facebook:

''To address the Gibbon photo-op situation that has recently been circulating online. I'm happy to see that my photo has prompted a search for the owner of the baby gibbon in order to take it under proper care, and I think that this is exactly where the power of celebrity comes in handy.

''Instead of shaming celebrities, like most media outlets seem to do, they should take action to stop the people who are actually doing the illegal part (not those who unknowingly pose for photos).

''I agree that awareness is key for everyone (including myself), and with my actions I feel that I have addressed two issues: illegal possession of an endangered animal, and photo-prop tourism.

''I was contacted by the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, Phuket who are smart enough to take advantage of this opportunity to spread awareness on the work that they do, and try to stop photo-prop tourism in Phuket.

''They invited me to visit their center and learn about the work they do, so I can use my voice and celebrity power to spread that message to others. That is the right way to do it.

''Not to shame people and point fingers, but take action and help make a difference. Most media outlets could learn something from this.

''I work with and support many animal welfare organizations such as Soi Dog Foundation, Fin Free Thailand, FREELAND Foundation and WWF to name a few. And animal rights is an important cause to me, which I am always speaking out for.

''As a huge animal lover, I will do whatever I can to help protect gibbons and other endangered animals.''

Phuketwan believes that by highlighting the inappropriate activities of celebrities - Natalie and Rihanna and Beyonce, for example - the media does its bit.

It's the role models who are supposed to set the good examples.

In return for becoming rich and famous, Natalie, you're supposed to behave responsibly. Don't blame us if you can't.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Obviously she also supports exploiting wild animals for profit since it can be assumed she paid for that Photo-op.

If her genuine motivation was to raise awareness, then she would certainly have chosen a very different picture caption.

What a lame attempt at putting the toothpaste back into the tube.

Dear Ms Glebova, please remember not everyone is reduced to the brain capacity of a..., well, let's not finish that sentence.

Posted by Herbert on March 7, 2015 13:05


"I'm happy to see that my photo has prompted a search for the owner of the baby gibbon in order to take it under proper care" Natalie a gibbon is not a dog they should be allowed to live in the wild and not have owners. Firstly they can kill a person by their poison glands which they wipe nto their mouth. Therefore when they bite it can be fatal. The cruel people that capture the gibbons often cut their teeth out with no anaesthetic. How cruel is that! Do you start to see why these animals do not make cute pets! Leave them in the wild they are not bad creatures if left alone from humans. They do not make human lives a misery why do we make theirs, purely for money/greed.

Posted by Friendly Foreigner on March 7, 2015 14:04


Natalie Who? Another 'celebrity' well known for doing err umm......

Posted by Arun Muruga on March 7, 2015 15:36


A priceless statement on her fb. A poorly written PR piece (hope she sacks her agent/ PR consultants who wrote it for her). As Phuketwan points out, someone who has supposedly supported numerous animal causes should know better than take a photo with costumed-up Gibbon. Clearly she doesn't (didn't). Clearly her image is rather thin and "made". A wonderful example of modern day celebrity-ism.

Posted by Duncan on March 7, 2015 15:38


Why do you people attack these people so quick, you should be venting, your angry, at those that allow these animals to be used...go protest to the Thai authorities, or is it easier, and safer, to attack those that have a photo taken. Just a reminder, dogs, cats, horses, fish and all other "domesticated" animals were at some stage "wild." Also you should go and protest in front of the local zoos.

Posted by Laurie Howells on March 7, 2015 17:04


@FF, gibbons have poison glands? I must say I've never heard that one before. Are you perhaps getting confused with a slow loris?
Owners of animals such as Gibbons cannot train them to go to the toilet. These animals go to the toilet whenever it suits them and they are usually required to wear a nappy if handled by humans or taken indoors and it is for that reason that they are usually dressed up to look like a human baby, to hide the nappy.
Despite public belief, some of these animals are babies of those gibbons shot by farmers protecting their crop and would die if not taken in. Civilization is encroaching on their natural habitat and like many wild animals become a pest to farmers.
I would suggest the owner tests the gibbon for hepatitis before taking it to any rehabilitation center because if it has hepatitis it will never be released into the wild and will spend the rest of its life hidden away in a small cage. In that case I'm sure it would rather be cuddled by Ms Glebova!

Posted by chill on March 7, 2015 21:21


yea i feel so sorry for the media.... i even cry a little.. ok she know she done something wrong but she is also right isn't she,.. its 100rds of photos taken each day and we miight should thank celebrities for posting so media get used to explored it shouldn't we, after all Police let it pass constantly ..... and i guess all u guy complaining never done something wrong yea? tss...

Posted by frog on March 7, 2015 23:26


She has made a mistake but why are gibbons treated in this manner in Thailand
I asked a man in Bagna, Patong who offered me a gibbon for a photo where was the mother of the gibbon and he smiled and said that he had eaten her

Posted by Paul on March 8, 2015 09:03


I know of an illegally kept gibbon in appalling conditions on Samui.. I contacted the gibbon center who simply didnt want to know. Strange how when its a media case they suddenly are happy to get their name out there.

Posted by LivinLOS on March 8, 2015 17:00

Editor Comment:

Samui is probably a bit beyond the reach of the Phuket-based centre. Why not tell Samui police?


Natalie is right!
Instead of pointing fingers at tourists and celebrities the media should stand up and send a reporter with the camera to the streets to document animals abuse and bring it to the public and law enforcement attention.

But, hey, it's much easier for media to blame others from the convenience of their offices.

Posted by Voyad Min on March 9, 2015 23:56

Editor Comment:

Much easier, Voyad Min, not to think first before commenting.

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