Nong Nuch Tropical Garden is located just outside of Pattaya and is made up of 600 acres. The intended plan was to be fruit plantations but the owners liked the beauty of the area so much that it was transformed into a series of gardens complete with exotic flowers and strange ornaments. The gardens opened in 1980 and have continued to grow since then. Despite the main focus of the attraction being the plants and the various gardens, now the park has a mini zoo, elephant rides, a full-blown cultural Thai show (again with elephants) and a number of tigers for photo opportunities.
1st Visit: 17th Feb 2017
2nd Visit: 7th April 2018
First Visit: 17th February 2017
The living quarters of the tigers was located in a small menagerie section of the garden. This area comprised of a 10x6m enclosure area onto which there were five cages measuring roughly 2x2m. The enclosure itself was made of a sand/dirt flooring with no real vegetation and just a few large rocks placed about.
The cages at the back were concrete floored, contained clean water and a wooden platform. They were shielded by a light tarpaulin to give the tigers a semblance of privacy, though the public could easily look through meaning there was no true place to hide. There was no enrichment noted at all.
There were four tigers out on wooden platforms for photo opportunities, dotted about the park. Each was chained using a double chain of about a foot and a half. None were young with staff informing the researchers that they were all at least five years old. These tigers all appeared at ease, or resigned with the large amount of tourists walking passed and getting their photos with them. Staff, for the most part, did not behave aggressively towards the tigers even though they did use bamboo sticks to move the tigers into place. The tigers also did not respond aggressively and were generally disinterested. For the most part the staff were friendly with the tigers but the entire process seemed more like a job they had to do.
There were two tigers in the small cages, one of which was sleeping, the other constantly pacing in the small area that it was able to.
Second Visit: 7th April 2018
A repeat visit revealed nothing changed in the way the tigers were being kept. However, only two tigers were now out for photos and they had been moved to different positions though one was right near the elephants and had a perch full of macaws beside it. Tigers remained calm and alert, with staff still displaying a friendly demenour towards the tigers, though bamboo sticks for placement were still used.
The four tigers residing the cages appeared much more stressed and all were pacing during our researchers visit. One also appeared frightened by what was going on around it indicated by dilated pupils and the whites around its eyes.
How Many Tigers?
Only one area that could be described as an enclosure at 10x6m
It has dirt/sandy substrate
No natural vegetation
No places to hide
Cages measured roughly 2x2m
Clean water provided
No enrichment items
Physical & Mental Health
Body condition - adequate to overweight
Staff used physical force through the use of bamboo sticks to get the tigers in position
Tigers out for photos had no water
Tigers were disinterested in the public
At ease with handlers
Tigers not out in public were pacing
General demeanor was alert, relaxed, calm
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.