When the snubnose wants to see tigers, well, we have to see tigers :). During our trip to Thailand, we visited the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, which is about a half-hour’s drive from Pattaya.
I don’t know what I was expecting to see but it was definitely not this. This is a haven for children. Not just tigers, the zoo houses crocodiles, huge pigs (I have never seen pigs this big), and various other animals.
Apart from simply viewing the wildlife, they also host various shows and events. The most popular show is the tiger show, where a bunch of tigers do a variety of tricks
OK, so the snubnose enjoyed the tiger show. But after about 10-15 mins, I started feeling restless and uncomfortable. It was no fun seeing wild animals reduced to performing tricks – the atmosphere was very circus-like. At one point, a tiger refused to perform, and the trainer raised his whip. It was awful to see the tiger cringing and then rising up on his hind legs and walking around.
I felt even more uncomfortable when I saw a bunch of tigers (almost 15) in an enclosure yawning away.
Tigers are essentially solitary animals and very territorial. It just did not seem natural behavior when so many tigers are lumped together in a rather small enclosure. Also, the tigers seemed extremely passive. In fact, they are so passive, they pose for photo-ops.
We asked how come the tigers were so docile, and were pretty astounded with the response. Apparently, the zoo is conducting experiments where tiger cubs feed on sow’s milk.
They are also being reared side-by-side with pigs and supposedly this makes them more docile. Hmm, I don’t know, I understand that being reared with a pig could make tigers docile, but my point is why? Why do this? Part of the tiger’s beauty is it’s fiercely individualistic and ferocious nature. We are all fascinated by danger. What’s fun about changing the tiger’s behavior to mirror a pig’s? And if it all boils down to nurture, how come the piglets raised with the tigers don’t become ferocious?
And how does this explain the equally tame crocodiles?