Safari World Bangkok Zoo Review

Safari World, Bangkok, 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: Safari World, Bangkok, Thailand

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Summary

Safari World in Bangkok is one of cities biggest attractions, consisting of a safari park and a marine park. The official website offers ‘happiness’ to visitors – but are the animals happy?

Safari World scores well on social media reviews, as most people tend to like it. The size and scope of the place is obviously impressive, and being able to get in amongst the free roaming animals in the safari park is clearly a joy. A zoo with few bars, which is what a safari park is, obviously gives the animals far more freedom than being cooped up in a cage, so must be applauded.

The animal ‘shows’ that are staged also draw a lot of praise – but here is where problems occur. While elephant parades, dolphin shows and orangutan boxing may please the customers, they are hiding almost certain animal cruelty. While orangutans hitting each other is more obviously abusive, tourists will not see the violent and cruel training methods that must be used to ‘train’ an elephant. There is no indication that Safari World is any different in that regard, so there is clear concern about the number of shows being put on, as this will potentially have caused a lot of animal cruelty.

Safari World also scores poorly when it comes to conservation or education. Some may feel that zoos are just for entertainment, nothing more. But that allows us to use animals purely for our own whims. We believe zoos must contribute to the conservation of the species that they keep, and should educate the public to ensure that the animals aren’t purely seen as objects for our entertainment. Safari World falls down on this front. Overall, Safari World puts on a good show – but the shows, at least, should not go on.

 

Pictures from Trip Advisor, Thaismiles, Bangkok News and Wikipedia

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:  1/20

Score: 2.5 Points

Out of the first 20 reviews on Tripadvisor, one rated the zoo with only one star because of concern about the animal welfare. However two people mentioned in their comment that they thought the some animals looked tired or skinny, but still rated the zoo with four stars each.

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:  1/20

Score: 2.5 Points

Out of the first 20 reviews on Google, one comment about the Orang utan boxing show, concerned that some may find this amusing, because it is animal abuse.

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:  2/10

Score: 4 points

Out of the first 10 independent news and blogs to mention the attraction, 2 mentioned concern about animal welfare. Both concerned about the animals shows, and one noticed a bleeding wound on the neck of one of the elephants.

Total Score for Social Media and News Section:  9/10

 

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: Yes   2 Points

Being fed an appropriate diet based on their wild diet

Score: Possibly   1 Point

At different places in the zoo you can buy food to feed the animals, it doesn’t say in their web page how this is handled in terms of animals being given too much, or their regular diet being managed accordingly.

Ease of movement within living quarters

Score: Possibly  1 Point

There are two different parts of the zoo, one where the animals roam free and one where the animals live in cages. One concern is how the animals that are featured in the shows are kept, as it is unclear what happens to them when they are not appearing in the shows.

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

Score: Yes  2 Points

Absence of injuries or disease

Score: Possibly   1 Point

One tourist spotted a bleeding wound on the neck of an elephant; this was left untreated at that point.

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

Score: No  0 Points

There have been comments on the elephant show and how they train the elephants by hitting them. Traditionally elephants are trained using aggression, so it is hard to avoid giving this a No.

Ability to express natural and social behaviours in living quarters

Score: Possibly  1 Point

This zoo is divided into two very different parts, one where the animals roam freely on a savannah which is great to see, but one part where there are animals performing in shows doing activities that are clearly not their natural behaviour.

Good human-animal relationship with staff

Score: Possibly  1 Point

Absence of general fear/distress/apathy

Score: Possibly  1 Point

Ability to seek privacy/refuge from humans and other animals

Score: Possibly  1 Point

Total Score for General Quality of Life:  9/20

 

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 Probably. (The Probably 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: Possibly  1 Point

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: Possibly   1 Point

Total Score for Interaction with the Public:  4/10

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 Probably. (The Probably 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: No   0 Points

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:  0/10

 

Zoo Review Final Score for Safari World:  24/50

Rating: Average – the attraction scores well in some areas but improvements would be welcome

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: 11th November 2014 by MD. 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