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“So much fun!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo

Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo
33/2 Moo 2. Ban Harn Beach | Samui Orchid Resort, Ko Samui 84310, Thailand
+66 77 424 017
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Ranked #104 of 138 things to do in Ko Samui
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Minneapolis, MN
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“So much fun!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2012

We had a great time and although the price was a little high for Thailand it was definitely worth the money. Getting to be up close and personal to the tiger was one of the biggest highlights of our entire trip. The tigers were gorgeous and looked very well taken care of. The seals were adorable and I loved how they bowed Sawatdee. The restaurant was right on a gorgeous beach and we had a great time watching people kiteboard. The aquarium was great and had a wide variety of fish and other sea creatures, you could feed sea turtles. The tiger, bird and sea otter shows were so much fun to watch as well. We had an amazing experience and would definitely recommend it.

Visited January 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ko Samui, Thailand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Waste of time and money”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

While the Samui aquarium might "deserve" two points for not being a complete disappointment, the tiger zoo is a killer! I have never seen these magnificent animals treated so poorly. Don't support them.

Visited February 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Poor conditions”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2012

Poor care provided to the animals, small spaces, no educational programs, all about making money without really respecting the animals

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“For The Majority a Great Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2012

My husband and I have visited this zoo twice. Once in November 2007 and once (with friends) in February 2011. I have to say I am unsure why it has received so many negative reviews. Our experience both times was (for the majority) positive.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:
The staff were friendly and professional at all times.
Adult tigers appeared glossy, clean and well fed.
There were no cubs the first time we went but the second time they were brought out one at a time to the viewing area (next to where photos with the adult tigers are taken) for approx. 20 minutes at a time before being taken back to their mother.
I had my photo taken with both an adult tiger and a cub. The cub was definitely not de-clawed. Little claws were stretching in an out as we fed him and you can clearly see them in the photo.
Adult tiger had definitely not had any teeth removed as she yawned as the photo was taken displaying a beautiful and complete set of teeth.
My impression was that the keepers/trainers genuinely cared for the animals. They appeared to handle them gently but firmly. I'm not an expert but would think that the correct way to pick up a tiger cub would be by the scruff while supporting it's body with the other hand which is what the keeper did. This is after all how vets handle domestic cats.
Tigers did not appear to be sedated. Possibly just well fed and lazing on a hot afternoon?
Keepers asked tourists not to use FLASH photography in the area where the cubs and adult tigers were being photographed as they did not (for obvious reasons) want the animals frightened. They were fine with photos without a flash or with video recordings.
The sea-lion, bird and otter shows were entertaining and again the animals seemed happy, healthy and well fed.

Cons:
Some of the aquarium tanks are too small however they were no dirtier than my tank at home gets after two or three days.
Cages containing otters, monkeys, birds etc. were also too small and I agree that the animals lacked toys to keep them stimulated. Otters and monkeys were pretty excited about human contact and wanted to play with my hair, jewellery, fingers etc. not that I minded but toys would help to reduce the stress of being kept in captivity.
Otters are de-clawed. Necessary because of their involvement with people but a dubious practice none the less.
Personally I'm not a huge fan of seeing animals like tigers perform circus style 'tricks' but this largely depends on how they’re trained i.e. with or without hurting or scaring them.
As I said overall we found the experience positive and a rare chance to get so close to beautiful animals. While I would not advocate supporting other attraction on Koh Samui such as the Namuang Elephant Trekking I feel that supporting this one will lead to a gradual improvement of facilities, conditions and breeding programs. Hope this helps.

Visited February 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“koh samui tiger zoo dont go!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2012

Attraction is well advertised with glossy photos of healthy tigers and tiger cub.It was dreadful.We decided against going to the show when we got there as the whole set up seemed rushed,staff where abrupt and the standard of the building very poor.We went to look at the tigers which were in an outside enclosure. There was one 10 year old female tiger lying in a small cage chained to a platform.It was drowsy with its eyes half closed,its mouth partly open as it was panting heavily. We noticed it had no incisors. My daughter who is 9 wanted her photo taken with the tiger cub.We had refused her permission to have a photo with the adult as it was obviously drugged and looked in a poor condition.There was no shine to its coat,looked underweight and did not move as tourists were ushered in and out of the cage. The men in charge were very aggressive and shouted at people who tried to take their own photos or videos. We were ushered onto a bench to sit down and this little tiger cub appeared from nowhere and was plonked on our laps. We were not allowed to hold it,the man in charge manually placed our hands on the cub and gave us a bottle of milk to feed it with. We had to keep still while a photo was taken. The whole experience took literally seconds and the cub was lifted by its scruff and taken away.We were very upset by the whole process even my partner was moved to tears.As this attraction was in a resort we went to get a drink from the restaurant. We walked passed numerous cages dotted around the grounds containing various animals kept in small,squalid conditions We found the cub later in a small cage.There were otters with only a bucket of water with no room to swim, monkeys with nothing to climb on just the floor and a bed area and caged birds . Another tourist who saw the show said that there were more tigers inside. It wasn't until later that evening I was thinking about the tiger cub I couldn't remember seeing its claws. When baby animals suckle their claws usually come in and out.I have looked closely at the photo and the parts of the paw that holds the claws is exposed but no claws are visible. I feel even more sickened to imagine what suffering these animals go through. Please don't go, if you do go use the information you see or photos take as evidence.We contacted the Born Free Foundation who have a travelers section on their website. You can report incidences of animal abuse and send video or photographic evidence to them. We also contacted various other animal protection agencies and wildlife TV presenters to ask if anything can be done to stop this.

Visited January 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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