Phuket Zoo Thailand Zoo Review

Phuket Zoo, Thailand – Zoo Review

The RIGHT-tourism Zoo Review is a quick but informed guide to the quality of places where the public can see animals, including zoos, dolphinariums and other attractions.

We’ve used a range of measures, taken from information available online, to judge how well the animals at the particular zoo or animal attraction are looked after. More than just a ‘review’, the results are actually a Quality Index which will allow tourists and the attractions themselves to judge how well the attractions are performing.

Please note, the information we use is taken from what we assume to be genuine and factually correct comments from reviews, blogs and news stories. If there are factual inaccuracies, please let us know and we will make the relevant changes.

RIGHT-tourism Zoo Review Rating for: Phuket Zoo, Thailand

Zoo_Review_Stamp_Unacceptable

Summary

Phuket zoo is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand. However, the visitors do not seem to have a good experience in terms of animal welfare. An average 2.5 star Google review and 2 star rating on TripAdvisor also illustrate that the reviewers are not very happy with their experience.

A Facebook page ‘Phuket Zoo Thailand – A place of MISERY and NEGLECT! DO NOT VISIT THIS ZOO!’ with 342 likes in the page also reveals how this zoo is losing its popularity. There were also some petitions online in terms of shocking animal welfare scenarios in the zoo and as such demanding to take immediate action. This clearly shows that people want changes in how the Phuket zoo currently operates. The Phuket zoo definitely seems to deserve an Unacceptable rating, as the conditions of the animals is of extreme concern. 

Picture from WildKingdomTours.com

Report Card

Section One: Social Media and News

This section looks at how the attraction is rated by people on key reviewing sites, and in blogs/the media. The reviews are often not concerned with animal welfare, so this section has a lower influence on the overall mark than other sections. However, it is an important measure of the way the attraction is viewed by visitors.

Number of negative TripAdvisor reviews

For the most recent 20 reviews which appear on the official TripAdvisor page for the attraction, how many mention animal welfare in a negative way. The score is worked out as a percentage (see method below).

Number of negative reviews:  18/20

Score: 0 Points

Out of 20 reviews, 18 reviewers write how they are disgusted to see distressing situation of the animals in the zoo. Their main concern was severe abuse and mistreatment of the animals as the zoo animals were mainly found to have starved, dehydrated and kept in small, dirty and cramped cages. Crocodiles were found to have piled up due to lack of space while tigers and elephants were chained and drugged for the shows. Animals were also found to have severely abused for the photographs. Reviewers strongly urge this zoo to close down until its current situation is improved.

Number of negative Google reviews

For the most recent 20 reviews which appear on the Google search page for the attraction, how many mention animal welfare in a negative way. The score is worked out as a percentage (see method below).

Number of negative reviews:  15/20

Score: 1 Point

Out of 15 negative reviews, people mainly had concern over mishandling of animals and the poor condition of the zoo. The reviewers consider this zoo as absolute disgrace and hell for the animals. They complain about the filthy and crowded cages and how the animals are mistreated. The animals were not only found to have starved, but also with injuries not being treated. Tigers were allegedly found to have been drugged for the shows. The reviewers suggest avoiding this zoo. Some also insisting that this zoo closes down.

Number of negative news articles and blogs
For the most recent 10 independent blogs or news articles for the attraction, how many mention animal welfare in a negative way. The score is worked out as a percentage (see method below).

Number of negative mentions:  6/10

Score: 2 points

Out of the first 10 independent news stories and blogs to mention the attraction, 6 mention concerns about animal welfare. Two of the blogs had mixed reactions: they were impressed by the entertainment the zoo provided to their kids. However, had concerns over poorly treated animals. One of these blogs mentions that the condition of the zoo has improved than 15 years before. Two of the blogs had only positive stories and there were no mentioning of animal welfare etc.

Total Score for Social Media and News Section:  3/10

 

Section Two: General Quality of Life

This section looks generally at how the animals, as a whole, appear to be treated. It is based on the internationally recognised Five Freedoms, which focus on key aspects of animal welfare including feeding, housing, health, behaviour and protection from fear/distress.

Each item is scored as either two points for a Yes, zero points for a No or one point for Possibly. (The Possibly category also includes situations where the answer would be Sometimes; or if the answer is unknown).

Absence of prolonged hunger and/or thirst

Score: No   0 Points

There are reports of the animals being starved and dehydrated.

Being fed an appropriate diet based on their wild diet

Score: No   0 Points

Ease of movement within living quarters

Score: No   0 Points

Enrichment in living quarters (eg climbing frame, toys etc)

Score: No   0 Points

Absence of injuries or disease

Score: No   0 Points

Absence of pain (eg being not being chained, or not being hit by staff)

Score: No   0 Points

There are reports of the crocodile being beaten for the shows.

Ability to express natural and social behaviours in living quarters

Score: No   0 Points

Good human-animal relationship with staff

Score: Possibly   1 Points

Absence of general fear/distress/apathy

Score: No   0 Points

Ability to seek privacy/refuge from humans and other animals

Score: No   0 Points

Total Score for General Quality of Life:  1/20

 

Section Three: Interaction with the Public

This section focusses on the way the attraction allows the public to touch, play with, photograph, feed or otherwise interact with the animals. The focus is on whether or not the interactions are causing harm or stress/discomfort to the animals, and if they could be dangerous to the public.

Each item is scored as either two points for a Yes, zero points for a No or one point for Possibly. (The Possibly category also includes situations where the answer would be Sometimes; or if the answer is unknown).

The interactions are not harmful in any way for the animal’s welfare

Score: No   0 Points

The interactions are not harmful in any way for the public’s welfare (any previous history of dangerous incidents)

Score: No   0 Points

The animals are not forced to interact with the public – they can refuse

Score: No   0 Points

The public are not allowed to handle the animals and touch them

Score: No   0 Points

The interactions are supervised by staff and in an educational context

Score: No   0 Points

Total Score for Interaction with the Public:  0/10

Section Four: Conservation and Education

This section looks at whether or not the attraction has a focus on conservation – for example does it support animals in the wild through breeding programmes, research or donations; and education – are visitors informed about the animals so they are not simply seen as objects for human amusement/entertainment.

Each item is scored as either two points for a Yes, zero points for a No or one point for Possibly. (The Possibly category also includes situations where the answer would be Sometimes; or if the answer is unknown).

Are some of the animals part of international breeding programs?

Score: Possibly   1 Point

Is there evidence of them having released animals into the wild?

Score: No   0 Points

Do they actively undertake scientific research into conservation/behaviour of their animals?

Score: No   0 Points

Does the attraction give money to conservation or animal protection programmes?

Score: No   0 Points

Does the attraction provide educational talks or written displays to inform visitors about the animals?

Score: No   0 Points

Total Score for Conservation and Education:  1/10

 

Zoo Review Final Score for Phuket Zoo:  5/50

Rating: Unacceptable – we would strongly advise against visiting this attraction

Do you agree or disagree with this Zoo Review? Please let us know in the Comments below.
If you are from this attraction and would like to comment on this Zoo Review, we’ll be happy to publish your response. Please email info@careforthewild.com or click here

Notes

1. This report was compiled on: 24th October 2014 by Sangita Shrestha. Find out more about our Zoo Review campaign here.

2. Zoo Review Final Score is given out of 50 as a sum of the four sections, then a RIGHT-tourism Zoo Review rating is awarded based on this score:

0-10: Unacceptable – the animal welfare at this attraction appears to be of a very low standard and a cause of great concern
11-20: Poor – it appears that significant improvement is needed in order to meet welfare standards
21-30: Average – the attraction scores well in some areas but improvements would be welcome
31-40: Good – Public opinion and animal welfare measures suggest that the animals here are looked after well
41-50: Best in Class – the welfare of the animals appears to be of a very high standard

3. TripAdvisor and Google scores are worked out by dividing the number of negative welfare reviews by the total (20) and multiplying by 100 to give a percentage, then giving a score out of 2.5 as follows:

0-19% negative 2.5 points
20-39% 2 points
40-59% 1.5 points
60-79% 1 point
80-89% 0.5 point
90–100% 0 points

3. News and blog scores are worked out by dividing the number of negative welfare reviews by the total (10) and multiplying by 100 to give a percentage, then giving a score out of 5 as follows:

0-19% negative 5 points
20-39% 4 points
40-59% 3 points
60-79% 2 point
80-89% 1 point
90–100% 0 points

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