by Rodson Santos
(UP Diliman, Philippines)
Give us a Cuddle!
It is home to 200 Bengal tigers and over 100,000 crocodiles, the largest population in the world, and several other kinds of animals.
The zoo occupies over a hundred acres of land. They offer many fun activities and the animals perform in the exciting shows they present to tourists.
The Sriracha Tiger Zoo provides a circus-like atmosphere, with the tigers performing various tricks, such as walking on their hind legs around tents and jumping through rings of fire. They also have trained performing elephants who play basketball and do fashion shows.
Other animals, such as pigs, wallabies, deer, camels, Peruvian guinea pigs and ostriches also call the zoo home. They also breed baby tigers, with some of the pigs in their charge serving as surrogate mothers to the cubs.
Tourists can take part in various activities, including taking pictures with the tiger cubs and baby crocodiles, feeding the deer, wallabies and ostriches or simply observing the tigers and crocodiles.
Tourists can also feed the baby tigers with a milk bottle and have their photos taken while doing so.
The Sriracha Tiger Zoo hosts The Crocodile Hatching Festival, wherein baby crocodiles break out of their eggs, everyday from May to August. The zoo boasts of being the first to present crocodile lady wrestlers, who fight the crocodiles with their bare hands.
They also have an attraction called The Scorpion Queen, a woman with over a hundred scorpions on her body.
Other sights and activities offered in the zoo are the Elephant Museum, where tourists can learn of the history of elephants and the S&R Restaurant that serves Thai, Chinese and Western cuisine.
Tourists can also see the Pig Race and watch “Piggy” the genius pig who can perform calculations.
The Sriracha Tiger Zoo, however, has faced criticism and negative press due to its circus-like treatment of its animals. Many critics claim that the performing animals are tortured in order to follow instructions from its handlers, and that the stunts and tricks performed are harmful and causeinjury to the animals!.
Some critics and animal rights activists also insist that illegal sales of tigers also occur, and that some animals were acquired through illegal means!.
The Sriracha Tiger Zoo holds shows daily, from 8am to 6pm & is a popular tour destination whilst in Staying in Pattaya .
Personally however I also found it far too “circus-like” for my own tastes, if animals were meant to do tricks like this, they would do them from birth & NOT after “training”.