Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer with over 50 years of work within zoos.
Where Have The Tigers Gone?
The pandemic caused many world zoos to close their doors to visitors, some of them permanently.
Amongst these was Sri Racha Tiger Zoo. Back in May 2021 it was announced that "Sriracha Zoo in Chonburi closes its doors forever". Since then there has been no news. As it was probably the largest Tiger breeding facility in the world with over 200 generic tigers they were in the unenviable position of finding homes for these as well as several other species.
In spite of the collection being a highly Dysfunctional Zoo it was extremely popular place for tourists. You were guaranteed an opportunity to feed a tiger cub for a fee before moving on to the circus arena to watch Tigers jumping through hoops of fire. You could end your visit by eating Crocodile from the adjoining farm.
Practically every zoo in Asia who wants to maintain Tigers already has them and most already breed them regularly. There really isn't anywhere for them to go. As they were generic tigers and outside of any official breeding programme they are of no value to conservation.
The London-based World Animal Protection at the time said "good news when the animals had suitable new homes". Well its not going to happen as there is nowhere for them to go.
Back in 2004 they shipped 100 of their surplus Tigers off to China to a highly questionable location. Have they done the same again?
It's Not Going Away
I for one am glad to see the disappearance of Sri Racha Tiger Zoo and its disreputable practices. It is however a problem that is not going away in a hurry. There are many other similar collections in Thailand.
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