Stopped off here for an hour during a fantastic Viator-booked private tour to the elephant orphanage very close by (which also took in Batu Caves and local silk painting which was interesting, and local lunch.) The private tour guide, Michael, (who was brilliant the whole day) paid the entrance fee out of the fee we'd already paid (which was expensive in local terms, but very well worth the money for the excellent guide alone and the local knowledge and information he gave us. He was also fantastic at the elephant sanctuary, getting us to stand in just the right spots to be really involved with the feeding and washing the elephants and bathing with them in the river and riding them. He took great photographs of us throughout the day too.)
The fee included a small bowl of feed for the deer, which we duly fed. We also saw and held large snakes and saw a variety of other birds and animals. It was a very small 'park' and some of the cages were small, with little or no attempt at environment enrivhment for the animals/birds inside. Some of the animals looked bored, though only one of the birds was exhibiting signs of being hen-pecked or of stereotypic behaviour, such as rocking or feather pulling etc.
From what I saw the welfare of the animals wasn't bad, but could certainly have been much better. The guide told us they used to have larger animals here, such as a bear, which had been taken away after complaints by tourists about the welfare. I can't comment as I didn't see the conditions the larger animals were being kept in. Since the visit I've seen some other reviews raising concerns regarding animal welfare and I was slightly uneasy about it, but as I say going on purely what I saw, it didn't seem bad; but could certainly have been considerably improved.
The little stop off here was a bit odd, especially when we were encouraged to feed rabbits. It's probably fine if you have young children but as it was only me anf my girlfriend (both 30) it was a bit strange and overall I'd have much preferred longer at the elephant sanctuary to have learned more about hoe they are looked after and how they plan and carry out the rescuing of elephants which have to be relocated etc.
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