Siam Ocean World Thailand Zoo Review

Siam Ocean 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: Siam Ocean World, Bangkok, Thailand

Zoo_Review_Stamp_Good

Summary

Siam Ocean World is an aquarium owned by the Merlin Entertainment Group, a company which runs several major attractions in the UK and abroad, and which claims to take its animal welfare and conservation very seriously.

Most internet reviews are focussed on factors other than animal welfare (such as entrance costs) and overall opinions are positive. TripAdvisor awarded Siam Ocean World a ‘Travellers Choice Award’ for 2014, winners being determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for zoos and aquariums worldwide, gathered over a twelve month period. There are many positive comments about this attraction, some relating to the good care given to the fish and other creatures and the maintenance of the environment, the wide range of species, the interactive activities available such as feeding the animals and diving with sharks.

Potential areas of concern are stress caused to the animals from interactions with the public, for example people are allowed to touch starfish; unsuitable and small enclosures for animals such as penguins and turtles; and issues around keeping sharks in captivity and allowing people close to them. There was also a mention of flash photography, which may cause stress. There is a heavy emphasis on environmental education, with activities and information to engage all ages.

Siam ocean world pic

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:  0/20

Score: 2.5 Points

The majority of reviews made no mention of animal welfare at all, and were more concerned with overall value for money, facilities, activities for children and so on. There was one positive review mentioning good maintenance and the fish being well kept.

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:  0/20

Score: 2.5 Points

Again, most reviews did not mention animal welfare at all, though there were two positive reviews, including one from January 2013 saying that the aquatic life looked well taken care of and the habitats were well managed.

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: 0/10

Score: 5 points

Most blogs were neutral on welfare and positive towards visiting the attraction in general. Many contain photos of the fish and other sea creatures.

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

 

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: Yes   2 Points

Ease of movement within living quarters

Score: Possibly   1 Point

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

Score: Possibly   1 Point

Absence of injuries or disease

Score: Yes   2 Points

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

Score: Yes   2 Points

Ability to express natural and social behaviours in living quarters

Score: Possibly   1 Point

Some comments like this raise concerns about the suitability of some of the enclosures: ‘There were some fish in the aquarium with the wrong kind of sand so the fish couldn’t do what it´s normally supposed do and dig the sand. They even had information written there about the nature of the fish so it really seemed totally neglectful. Penguins are living in small room without sunlight and it was such a sad sight to see.’

Good human-animal relationship with staff

Score: Yes  2 Points

Absence of general fear/distress/apathy

Score: Possibly   1 Point

There are concerns over the use of flash photography in front of the tanks. There are signs telling people not to do it, but it seems common practice that people do it anyway, and comments suggest ‘staff don’t do anything about it’.

Ability to seek privacy/refuge from humans and other animals

Score: Possibly   1 Point

Total Score for General Quality of Life:  15/20

 

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: Possibly   1 Point

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

Score: Yes   2 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: Yes   2 Points

Total Score for Interaction with the Public:  5/10

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: 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: Yes  2 Points

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

Score: Yes  2 Points

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

Score: Yes  2 Points

Total Score for Conservation and Education:  6/10

 

Zoo Review Final Score for Siam Ocean World, Bangkok, Thailand:  36/50

Rating: Good – Public opinion and animal welfare measures suggest that the animals here are looked after well.

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: 26th October 2014. 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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