FantaSea in Phuket, as described by its own site, is a place that displays Thai culture. It is in fact, more akin to a cultural theme park rather than an animal attraction. The main features here are a series of shops with a big two hour acrobatics and dance show later in the evening. However, there are elephant rides available around the grounds as well as a small jungle adventure section containing a number of animals including two tigers - ironically white tigers and therefore Bengal, a species not native to Thailand.
1st Visit: 18th March 2017
2nd Visit: 30th April 2018
First visit: 8th March 2017
The two white tigers are at the end of the Tiger Jungle Adventure, which contained a number of other animals as well. The tigers are confined to a large cage, the front of which has been designed to look like an Indian-style palace with large glass windows for visitors to view the tigers. Inside, the decor runs along the same lines, with white floors with columns and the back wall all featuring Indian elements. Other than a large pool at one end, there is nothing in this cage. The cage is completely walled in so the tigers cannot smell or hear anything outside - presumably the area is temperature controlled as they do not seem to be suffering from heat.
The tigers themselves were generally uninterested in the visitors even when they were pressed to the glass or banging on it. They were social with each other however. Both performed a lot of pacing but due to the glass it was impossible for our researchers to determine if they could be distracted from this action.
In physical terms, both tigers were slightly overweight. Each had a number of wounds and sores on various parts of their bodies. One had a ripped ear, the other a slight limp. Slight crossed eyes was also noted in one of them.
A final tiger was observed in the acrobatic show later in the evening. This was a young tiger (between 10 to 18 months) and appeared in a cage as part of a magic trick, Its entire appearance lasted a couple of minutes before it was led quickly off stage.
Our researchers were unable to confirm tiger number of view the areas they are kept when off display.
Second visit: 30th April 2018
The second visit revealed everything to be the same. There were two white tigers in the glass-walled cage, which appeared to be the same two as last year. Both remained lethargic and uninterested in the tourists outside. A number of injuries could be seen including a deeply split paw pad and pressure sores on the elbows - most likely from sleeping on the hard floor.
Once again there was a tiger in the show - again aged around 8 to 14 months leading our researchers to believe there are a significantly higher number of tigers on the premises.
Finally, in the line before entering the show, there were two tiger cubs brought out for photos with tourists. These appeared to be around four months old and our researchers were informed that they were all boys and that there was a third one (though this one was not brought out). Staff also reported that the mother, (and presumably the father), lived on site. The cubs were handled roughly in order to get through the long line of guests. They had their back claws filed down and mittens over their front paws - it is unclear whether this was done to protect guests from their claws or whether they had recently undergone a declawing procedure.
Overall, the welfare situation of these tigers has declined.
How Many Tigers?
One concrete/tiled floor cage
Glass windows made up one side
Nowhere to hide from visitors
No natural vegetation
- Large pond provided
- Clean but wet after tigers played in pond
Physical & Mental Health
White tigers ad slight crossed eyes
Wounds and sores visible
Slight limp on one of the tigers
Cut paw and ear
Body condition - overweight
Uninterested in the visitors
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.