Tiger Park @ Pattaya
1st Visit: 18th Feb 2017
2nd Visit: 7th April 2018
Tiger Park @ Pattaya had only been open since January 2017 when our researchers first visited. As such, it was so new that no one even seemed to know that it existed and our researchers only found out about when talking to the taxi driver regarding tiger facilities. The park offers much the same interaction programmes as the Tiger Kingdom facilities do and in fact is so similar that it could be that they are part of the same group. It is also setup in the same professional manner complete with photos of the different tiger photo options alongside many statements against drugging, chains, the use of force and tiger trade.
First Visit: 18th February 2017
The cages and enclosures were set up in the same way as at the Tiger Kingdom facilities. The cages were concrete floored and measured 4x4m. Each contained a wooden platform and a clean bowl full of water. The enclosures varied in size averaging around 20x10m. Each of these enclosures contained grass, trees, wooden platforms and large ponds, though there was no place for the tigers to hide from the public. Trees were protected by structures and electricity, preventing the tigers from getting complete access to them. The ground was also paved in some placed with bricks that allowed the grass to go through - though not all areas were like this. Magnesium was used in the ponds to keep them clean.
There was no enrichment in the cage or in the enclosures with the exception of the items brought in by the staff. These were in the form of long bamboo sticks with coconuts or bamboo leaves attached to the ends. This natural enrichment was used to engage the tigers to move about and to play a little.
There was only one area where the visitors could walk - a second area could be seen but this was fenced off and visitors were not encouraged to look back there though more tigers could be seen. There was further construction of at least 20 more cages going on in this area.
Tigers ranged from just 6 weeks up to 3 years old with staff seeming to imply there was an affiliation with the Tiger Kingdom chain and also stating that some of the newborn cubs had come from Ubon Ratchathani. These newborn cubs were not being presented to the public though they were out with staff so that they could be viewed from a distance. One was already suffering from a cataract in the eye - a possible side effect from being given the wrong milk replacement formula.
For the most part the tigers seemed at ease with their surroundings displaying playful, alert and confident behaviour towards each other, visitors and staff. One tiger however was clearly fearful of a particular staff member. In general staff treated the tigers in a friendly way though some were firmer in their approach - all had short bamboo sticks, which were used on the tigers, albeit not so forcefully. Pacing was noted in tigers housed at the back. No physical issues were noted apart form the aforementioned cataract and the fact that some tigers had crossed eyes.
Second Visit: 7th April 2018
There was no change in overall setup and welfare for the tigers. The main difference was that the area previously under construction was now open and a new, third section was now being built. Disturbingly, the number of tigers had tripled in a single year.
Tigers continued to have the same relaxed, alert attitude towards non-threatening human interaction. Some of the staff displayed exemplary care and relationships with the tigers, not using sticks and clearly having a mutual bond with some of the sub-adult tigers.
However, breeding was clearly rampant. In one section there was a nursing room and through an open, unguarded window, three newborn cubs (not more than a few days old), could be seen sleeping in incubators, allowing full public viewing with no care for sterilisation or privacy.
Though the constant expansion indicates they intend to keep all the tigers, the incredible speed at which their population is growing is a cause for concern.
How Many Tigers?
Cages measure 4x4m
Each is concrete-floored and contains a high wooden platform and clean water
Enclosures average 20x10m
Each has grass, trees, platforms and a large pond
No enrichment items
Staff have toys to gain tiger's attention during photo sessions
Entire area is spotless
Physical & Mental Health
Body condition is adequate
Clearly monitored as evidenced by specific signage on each cage
Crossed eyes noticed in a few tigers
Bamboo sticks used for control
Tigers were generally relaxed, playful and/or alert
Staff, for the most part, treated them well
Some tigers wary/aggressive with specific staff
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.