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Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chon Buri closes its doors forever

Tim Newton

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One of Thailand’s most popular and visited Tiger zoos has announced that it’s closing its doors, permanently. Sriracha Tiger Zoo, a Chon Buri tourist magnet, located in Nong Kham, was in operation for 24 years. Wasan Temsiriphong, the MD of the Sriracha Tiger Zoo operation said that they will meet with employees on Monday to discuss termination payments and the reasons for the decision.

He maintained that the current restrictions imposed by officials had sealed the zoo’s fate, already trading in very difficult economic circumstances with only domestic tourists to draw on for the past 12 months. For now there has been no announcement about the fate of the animals who currently reside at the zoo.

TheTiger Zoo originally opened on April 23, 1997 and was the largest facility in the world that bred and raised the Bengal tiger. The Thaiger visited the zoo nearly a decade ago, with an open mind, and was mildly entertained but found some of the shows and attitudes towards the animals outdated, although we saw nothing that suggested that the animals were poorly treated, notwithstanding they were in a zoo.

The most peculiar thing we saw was the nursery where pig mums were feeding tiger cubs and tiger mums were feeding baby piglets. But it was all this strangeness that was clearly part of the attraction of the zoo that attracted busloads of tourist every day until Thailand’s borders were closed last year.

Visitors could also get a photo feeding or patting a tiger.

It was also famous for its bizarre animal shows featuring crocodiles, pigs, elephants, camels, rabbits and snakes. The zoo and its attractions had polarised reviews from visitors – some loving the experience, others claiming it was cruel and depressing. From TripAdvisor…

“I have been here with customers for a day trip with lunch . It’s very kind and well organised with many kinds of Show as Tigers show, Elephant Show and pigs Show. Where is opportunity to take pictures with animals lol”

“In my opinion one of the greatest of animals great to see the preservation element the only downside was the guy hitting the tiger during the show hope one day the tiger has its day.”

“I liked it more than my son did. I habe meber been that close to such a giant “cat” before. My son fed little tigers and played with them… We took a picture with small tigers for 200B. Taking pic with big tiger 200B, 400B with liger. Each time, they take your phone and make pictures with it. Elephant show was funny, crocodile show seemd a bit dangerous to me. Tiger show was ok. All shows last approx.20 minutes. We didn’t watch pig race, but still it took us 4 hours.”

But some visitors were scathing…

“Visited after a tip off from a friend who said the zoo was under investigation for farming tigers for the illegal tiger bone wine trade. If you walk around the back of the main tourist cages you will see squalid more commercial cages where tigers are held before being exported for tiger bone wine. This is animal cruelty at its worst, not only are they keeping tigers in a victorian zoo like enclosure at the front where tourists can pose with them for a fee (which is so wrong I dont even know where to begin) – there’s even a tiger show (which is frankly disgusting), but it’s also a front for the commercial breeding of tigers for chinese tiger bone wine. The fact this place is allowed to keep on operating hints that authorities are turning a blind eye. Please please please do not go, do not support and educate yourself on ethical travelling!”

“My partner and I visited this zoo as one of our travel companions booked us tickets. What greeted us when we got there was a horrible experience. It was more a test of endurance than a fun day out.

First we came to the tigers. The smaller ones were in tiny cages, running in circles and pushing their faces up against the metal. The bigger ones were clearly malnourished and drugged; they were chained to the ground and hit by the staff to encourage them to perform for the amusement of tourists. They were also walking in circles. There was one tiger that had pictures taken with visitors. This animal was clearly too tired to move, and was directed with a stick via a worker.

Then came the pig race, which speaks for itself. A bunch of pigs have a race as people watch on in bottom-of-the-barrel amusement.

If you value, respect, or merely have an interest in animals, DO NOT visit this zoo. It is a hellhole.”

You can read more of the reviews HERE.

 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    ynwaps

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 8:56 am

    Overpriced animal prison brought down by doom porn

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Admission was B200 for Thais, B450 for foreigners. And then extras, such as B200 for photographs with the tigers, and extra to see the show.
    My theory is that foreigners paid to subsidise the cheaper price for the Thais.
    Once the foreigners could not come, the zoo was not viable.
    From what I have read, the animals were treated badly, and for that reason, not the price, I would not have visited.
    Good riddance Sriratcha Tiger Zoo.

  3. Avatar

    Robert Jordan

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:49 am

    Good

  4. Avatar

    peter

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:50 am

    I hope that the new challenge for the animals will work out well. Natural habitats for these tigers are now pretty rare so my hope is that they will find the same goodwill of people around the world to settle them in the same way the lonliest elephant of the world Kavaan that was moved from a Zoo in Pakistan to a Elephant Sanctuary in Cambodia and is doing well there.

  5. Avatar

    Anton

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:55 am

    Should be closed long time ago, same as other attraction with animals .. shame people who do money with this, karma will follow them

  6. Avatar

    sam

    Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    Human beings should stop all captived animals for entertainment.They should be returned to the wild to roam freely without torture by the owners to make them perform tricks for people.

  7. Avatar

    LEE HAI

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 3:12 am

    Sam, there is little, and shrinking daily, natural habitat where these tigers could live and survive in, elephants and others face the same problems, best to create as natural of confined
    habitat as possible for these beings to live well in, but that takes $$$$$ and getting that from
    point A to B where its needed would be diffacult with the many deep pockets in the way.
    Heck, the cities are becoming more and more crowded and polluted, we have to figure out as well
    just how to create some new heathy habitats for those beings as well, along with bringing our
    forests, air and waters back to health….Oh well just another dream from one member of planet
    Earth’s most invasively distructive species…..

  8. Avatar

    James Pate

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 6:50 am

    Set the tigers free in the national parks and let the idiots take one final selfie.

  9. Avatar

    Louis J Saayman

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Can we adopt an animal?Im sure many people would love to…

    • Thaiger

      Thaiger

      Monday, May 3, 2021 at 8:29 am

      What would you like? A tiger? A cobra? An elephant?

  10. Avatar

    JKU

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 8:45 am

    A tedious expression of moral outrage.

  11. Avatar

    Mike

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    I went there many years ago I didn’t see any cruelty to the animals but then again wasn’t looking for any knowledge is a good thing I wouldn’t go know.

  12. Avatar

    L

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    @Toby Andrews – Cheap Charlie Foreigner. I am a foreigner and I think Foreigners should pay more because of the income discrepancy and many other reasons.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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