Sriracha Tiger Zoo in has released a statement saying that the zoo hasn’t been closed permanently and closed for 14 days quarantine measures. The 14 day closure is to comply with the Chonburi Communicable Disease Control Committee’s measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Sriracha Crocodile Farm managing director Sumeth Panyasakhon, who owns Tiger zoo said the the Facebook post by the Tiger Zoo’s managing director on permanent closure was untrue. Saying Sriracha Crocodile Farm would continue operating the Tiger Zoo even if the zoo’s executives do not want to.
On Friday the zoo’s managing director, Wasan Temsiriphong, had posted on its Facebook page that the Sriracha Tiger Zoo had closed permanently from Friday after 24 years of operation. He said in the post that the management would hold a meeting with staff on Monday to discuss the reasons for going out of business.
Mr Sumeth, however, unveiled new plans to make the zoo operations viable.
“We have an idea to renovate the zoo to make it a one-stop tourist attraction. The attractions would include a community mall, restaurants and coffee shops in a bid to attract Thai tourists,” he said.
He added that Covid-19 had caused international sales of crocodile products to slump by over 50 per cent, but domestic sales enabled the company to pay salaries to its employees.
He added that the company was offering 70 per cent discount on its products, such as crocodile leather bags, meat and food supplements, to stimulate domestic sales as well.
“After the Sriracha Tiger Zoo’s Facebook post went viral, we informed the zoo’s executives to delete the message,” he said. “We will take good care of the animals and employees until the zoo is able to reopen.”
Located in Nong Kham subdistrict, Sriracha Tiger Zoo opened its doors on April 23, 1997. The 250-rai tiger zoo became famous as the largest facility in the world that bred and raised Bengal tigers.
The zoo also features talent shows of many animals besides tigers, such as crocodiles, elephants and pigs. There are also exhibition zones for camels, spotted deer, rabbits and more.