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“A Sad Place for the Animals” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo

Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo
Ranked #85 of 140 things to do in Ko Samui
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A Sad Place for the Animals”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2011

Out first impression of the zoo and aquarium was hopeful however although the tigers appeared to be in better condition than some of the others we saw on the Island who were chained and forced to pose for photos all day without water and then kept in tiny cages, these Bengals were also caged in extremely small cages. The most upsetting thing for us was seeing a little Otter with what was obviously a severe infection in his face. We took photos of the poor thing and will be asking the zoo directly to attend to him as he was clearly in considerable pain and could not open either eye. The other disturbing thing besides the small enclosures was the complete lack of any stimulation such as toys or anything at all to assist the animals mental health. Most animals showed signs of stress and I saw no evidence of food and many cages had little water available . There were two very tiny baby tigers there the day we went who clearly were too young to be away from their mother and one was blind. I wondered what happens to this never ending supply of tiger cubs that are bred for photos with the tourists? They were very thin and seemed to only get fed to pose for the photos with the tourists. I left the zoo with the feeling that there was probablya lot going on in terms of animal mistreatment that was well hidden from the tourists. They have a sign that says the animals are let out to "roam and play" in a big enclosure after everyone goes home but this defies belief. We had a good look around and saw no enclosure and the animals have clear behavioural issues indicating that they are confined for very long periods. To sum up - go only if you want to bear witness to the mistreatment of these animals and then write about it. Surely we are past seeing Beautiful Bengal tigers beaten to do tricks?

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Ruth G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“It's a wonderful place to visit.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2011

My family had a wonderful time here.They do really have a good (exellent. )show.Both sea lion and tiger show.All the animals are unchained and look very healthy and friendly to people,you can take a picture with an unchain tiger and lion, which we never seen in anyplace we've been to.This place should be the best attraction in koh samui because they have more things to entertain you than any other place around.( Aquarium, tiger zoo, big swimming pool and nice restaurant by the beach, two great shows sea lion and tiger show.)Check the detail to any place around before you go and compare,you'll see which place will give you the most for your money.For us this this is the right and wonderful place to visit.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank vanissa a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maxsamui2, ผู้จัดการฝ่ายประชาสัมพันธ์ at Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo, responded to this review, November 5, 2011
We're so glad that you did enjoy and had a good time at Samui Aquqrium and Tiger Zoo.We're also greatly appreciated for your wonderful review. Thank you so much.Hope You 'll come to see us again, next time you're in SAMUI.

Thank you n' Best Regards.
JOE.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wasted Effort”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2011

To call this place an aquarium is a stretch, there are a few tanks holding fish but there's not much too see & what is there is cramped into tiny enclosures. The Tigers seemed really stressed and not treated the best. Only saving grace is the seal show, that was fun to see

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maxsamui2, ผู้จัดการฝ่ายประชาสัมพันธ์ at Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo, responded to this review, November 5, 2011
Thank you for your compliment about our sea lion show.And we are so sorry for your dissapointment about other attractions.We'll try our best to adjust, improve and correct all the things that you mentioned about these matters as soon as we can.

P.S. Our tigers are absolutely healthy and are not stress at all,Please belive me.!!

Best Regards.
JOE
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A very depressing visit.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2011

Having visited a lot of animal facilities in the last few months, during some world travel we are confident in saying that this is one of the worst places you can visit if you have any interest in animals or their treatment.

The excitement of being able to get up close and personal with tigers and hearing about other people's positive experiences in another facility elsewhere in Thailand we bi-passed checking out reviews of this place on tripadvisor or elsewhere. If you do consider visiting this place, I strongly advise you to read through and take heed of what people have to say.

To begin with the staff at the resort entrance were borderline aggressive in their sales pitch. The price of entry to the aquarium and the shows was 750 baht and then for each picture you want with a tiger was an additional 600 baht. You can then purchase photos with seals, birds, otters etc for 100 baht per photo. Thankfully we did wait to see what was inside before we committed to any photo purchases.

The only positive we really have to say is that the seal show was pretty well executed , the animals seemed healthy and the facility in which the show was performed seemed in good condition.

Otherwise, you begin by entering the aquarium which is dark and ill-maintained. A lot of the exhibits were empty fish tanks. At one point we came across a shark that was swimming on its side in a constant circle because it's tank was so small it could never actually swim in a straight line or properly leveled circle. Many of the tanks with acceptable space were just plain dirty.

After the aquarium there is another opportunity to be hard-sold into some pictures with tigers. Fortunately we waited again to see the photo practice in action before signing on to supporting such activity.

We didn't really get all that close to the adult tigers but from a distance they seemed healthy enough in terms of weight and coats but their enclosures all seemed to be concrete floors with rusty bars and wire fences. The real shocks were the baby tiger kept in it's own individual small enclosure, then within that enclosure was a rusty crate, 6 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 feet tall that contained a baby lion. These two animals were not in particularly good shape, especially the lion that had sores all over his body and constantly paced the tiny crate.

When it came to photo time we saw the baby tiger have a bottle of milk forcefully shoved into it's mouth and dragged out onto the payees lap for around thirty seconds before being dragged back into the cage. We saw this happen 6 or so times and on at least three of those occasions the handler kicked the tiger back as he closed him back in. At one stage another handler went in and let the lion cub out into the enclosure with the tiger cub rough housed each other as expected, so he then sat and supervised by slapping, hitting and at one stage lifting the lion cub up by his tail! It was all a lot to take in.....and then you turn around to see the other animal enclosures. There are a few different kinds of monkey, tropical birds, kept in their respective cages that were identical in size. The birds had barely enough room to stretch their wings let alone fly. The otters climbed the cages and stuck their paws through the mesh in what appeared like desperation. Not hard to see why when they had just a BUCKET of dirty water to "swim" in. In fact at no point did we see any of the animals have any clean drinking water and food was non-existent in any of the bowls at any point.

We have heard that they only put the animals in the cages for viewing every other day and that they really live elsewhere in a glorious enclosure much closer resembling their habitats. Apparently it is behind the seal enclosure, but we had no luck finding it. If someone has the ability to make enclosures that suit their needs then that is what they should be in ALL the time! People, in general, want to see happy, healthy, cared for animals that act normally so perhaps you should destroy all the horrible small, rusty enclosures. It would seem like more sense to move all the animals to the nice facility and then allow the public access to view them there.

Finally, at the end of our visit we stayed for the tiger and bird show. As mentioned previously by another reviewer the tigers really seem like they are being terrorized into doing the tricks. The trainers constantly raised their hands to the tigers and seem to carry various whips and what seemed to be some kind of metal instrument halfway between a wand and a meat skewer. The leopard they brought out as the finale really didn't want any part in the performance, swiping at the trainer a couple of times to prove his point before being made to jump through a fire hoop!!!

The birds were well trained and intelligent but knowing the conditions in which they are kept took any enjoyment out of watching the performance.

All in all an expensive way to view animal cruelty. A really scary thought is what happens to the animals though if people stop visiting and paying the extortion racket altogether.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank AandK2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maxsamui2, ผู้จัดการฝ่ายประชาสัมพันธ์ at Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo, responded to this review, October 19, 2011
1. The small enclouser that you saw is a temporary shelter for the baby lion and the baby tiger which are waiting for a photo session. They'll be there couple hours per day.
2. the sores of baby lion that you mentioned is a natural brown spot which any baby lion has it on each an everyone of them when they are young.
3. About the show and others suject in your review, We do respected your openion, but sometime other people also have their own openion and judgement. So in the mean time we have to try our best to satisfy everyone. But one thing we guarantee that absolutely there're no animal cruelty in our establishment, All of our animals are healthy and we take the best care for each and everyone of them.we hope for your understanding and we 'll try our best and in everyway to improve and solve this matter for a better future and understanding.

Regards.

JOE
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
228 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 800 helpful votes
“Mixed Feelings”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2011

The Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo is entertaining and a rip off at the same time. I definately walked away with mixed feelings.

At 750 Baht per person it is steep. You are entitled to see 3 shows with this entrance ticket.

The Sea Lion Show, which was allright. The sea lions seemed to be enjoying themselves and looked healthy. Post show its picture time and 200 Baht to take a picture with the sea lion. (I sincerely hope that this money goes towards the animals welfare!)

The Bird Show, was entertaining. The birds all look well cared for. Post show, again its picture time and 200 Baht to take a picture with the birds.

The Tiger Show, which was absolutely terrible. The tigers all seemed terrified of the trainers, and it was sad to see tigers jumping through hoops of fire. Fortunately a few tricks and it was over.

The main attraction here is a picture with a tiger. I witnessed an employee tell a guest it was 200 Baht for a picture with a tiger, if the guest used their own camera, and she was stressing that they would only allow 1 picture taken. No second tries!! For 600 Baht, the zoo saff would take a picture, and for 800 Baht, you would get a picture saved to a CD.

Next to the area where the pictures are taken was a very small cage with a lion cub and a tiger cub to pose for pictures. One cannot but feel sorry for the little things.

The Aquarium was a huge dissappointment. It looked dingy and unkempt, with the inevitable feed the turtles for 40 Baht and the fish for 80 Baht!

Some areas have been renovated and the bathrooms were very clean.

I think children would enjoy the park as animals and birds can be seen close up. and who wouldn't want a picture with a tiger, but I still walked away a little disturbed and guilty.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank Binu A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maxsamui2, ผู้จัดการฝ่ายประชาสัมพันธ์ at Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo, responded to this review, October 19, 2011
Thank you for your mix feeling review.We greatly appriciated your positive review and will listen to your negative review with our respect, and we'll ltry our best to improve all these negative matter for the better future.Again ,thank you for your review and comment, these information will help us a lot for improvement.

Best Regards.

JOE.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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