Khon Kaen Zoo
1st Visit: 10th March 2017
2nd Visit: 19th April 2018
Khon Kaen Zoo is one of the recent additions to the Zoological Parks Organisation (ZPO) zoos in Thailand. Like the others under their care, this zoo is of a much higher standard than the standards found elsewhere in Thailand. The zoo contained a number of other animals including bears, lions, hippos, various bird species and a wide range of ungulates. All of these appeared to have large, spacious, species-specific enclosures and no hands-on interactions between animals and the public.
First Visit: 10th March 2017
There were two enclosures for the tigers, one housing three Indo-Chinese tigers and the other housing a single white tiger. Each of the enclosures was large, in excess of 400sqm, and filled with natural vegetation as well as rocks, enrichment, platforms and ponds. There were plenty of places for the tigers to hide from the public; in fact, the white tiger was barely visible during our visit.
The tigers showed general curiosity of the public and behaved in either disinterested, aggressive or social manners with their conspecifics. Interaction with staff appeared limited to the feeding show, where staff attached meat to a pulley system encouraging the tigers to climb on platforms, leap for, or scale feeding poles in order to get the food. Unfortunately, our researchers missed this feeding programme so cannot fully comment on its efficacy in providing enrichment.
Second Visit: 19th April 2018
There was no change in the setup of the enclosures. The tigers were in the same locations with similar enrichment items. This time, our researchers were able to see the feeding programme, which engaged a number of the big cats. Of the tigers, only the white tiger was part of the programme. He ventured out and was an active participant in the feeding, jumping and lunging for the pieces of meat held at the top of the feeding pole.
Once again, there were no stereotypies noticed with tigers behaving socially towards one another. Overall, they demonstrated better welfare than most.
How Many Tigers?
Two separate tiger enclosures observed
One contained three Bengal tigers, the second, a single white tiger
Enclosures were large and spacious each surrounded with a moat but also containing a pond for the tigers to swim in
Contained multiple enrichment items including logs, rope and platforms
Enrichment programme in the form of public feeding
Plenty of places for the tigers to hide from the public
Physical & Mental Health
Tigers appeared in good physical health
No pacing or other stereotypical behaviours noted
What we are doing to help
At this time we are raising awareness for the situation of the captive tigers in Thailand through education of the public and through a number of different petitions.
Head to our Petition zone to see how you can help.