In Thailand, a well-known tourist attraction has to close after 24 years in the wake of the corona pandemic: The Sriracha Tiger Zoo near Pattaya is no longer able to maintain operations after being closed for months, the newspaper “Pattaya Mail” reported on Thursday citing the owner.
The approximately 5000 animals, including tigers, crocodiles, camels and elephants, are initially to be relocated to another area that belongs to the park.
The zoo was opened in 1997 by a former pig and crocodile breeder.
At times there were 1.5 million holidaymakers a year, mainly Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Indonesians and Russians.
Since the first Corona wave last year, management has tried everything to generate income, including selling “street food” and temporarily free entry for visitors.
But since foreign guests are still not allowed to come and the number of infections is now increasing, a closure is the only way, according to the operators.
The Sriracha Tiger Zoo is harshly criticized by experts and animal rights activists.
In 2004 the American NGO “Animal Welfare Institute” reported that the park’s tigers and elephants were being used in circus shows.
A baby tiger sleeps with piglets in the Sriracha Zoo, on a grid floor
A British organization criticized in 2016 that the big cats were in poor condition and that tiger babies were separated from their mothers only two to three weeks after birth.
And I mean…Wildlife tourism, worth up to $250 billion (USD) annually is a big business.
It is estimated that globally wildlife tourism attractions condemn around 550,000 wild animals to appalling, mostly unseen suffering.
Because the pain and distress is largely hidden, visitors are usually oblivious to the horrific abuse and conditions endured for tourist entertainment.
Captive tigers are particular victims of irresponsible tourism – their suffering fuelled by the demand for selfies and photo sharing on social media.
These majestic and endangered predators are bred, used and abused to create entertainment for tourists and boost the profits of wildlife attractions, travel companies and illegal traders.
Sriracha Tiger Zoo near Pattaya had reported the most tigers in their possession.
Here, visitors are encouraged to photograph a tiger in an ‘African’ landscape. The tiger is pushed and prodded with a bamboo stick wielded by a Tarzan-style trainer until the animal sits on a stool.
One attraction of the zoo that kids and their parents love is the “cub milk-feeding”.
In a big room, with several cages in a row containing one baby tiger each, visitors are encouraged to feed the animals through the wire-mesh with milk in feeding bottles.
A zoo attendant offers visitors milk in feeding bottles in exchange for a certain amount.
But loud cries of the baby tigers can be heard meters away from the room. When visitors start asking why, the attendant is quick to explain that the cubs are hungry and in need of feeding.
Visitors are then offered milk bottles to feed the cubs, but for a price.
All animal abuses have a price in the zoo.
Some suspect that the baby tigers are deliberately starved so they’ll always cry for milk.
Our message is simple: please do not support these activities.
Captured wild animals and other animals that are used for direct human-animal interaction for entertainment purposes suffer enormous agony in such businesses.
You make yourself an accomplice if you support them
My best regards to all, Venus