Weekly Photo Outing

Meow...

This week we visit the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi about 20 minutes north of Pattaya.   This is an interesting place for several reasons.  First, they have more tigers than I’ve ever seen in one place and second they have almost as many different tiger shows.  It’s a big complex and can take a lot out of you walking the entire place on a hot day.

This is the only place I’ve been where a photographer is able to photograph tigers as they run, play, and splash through water without some sort of glass barrier or fence between you and the tiger.  To be more accurate, in the entire complex there is only one such location and it can be a bear to find, especially when loaded down with a tripod, big glass, and everything else you need to capture the quality photographs of the tigers you’re sure to want.

Black and White Tiger

A fellow photographer turned me on to the place and I haven’t stopped going down there every month or so since.  Nearby there are several other types of zoos which I’ll cover in future columns, but if you plan the day properly you can easily visit 3-4 such attractions during the same outing.  Our “day trips” often choose this destination when there is a high level of interest in wildlife or animal photography.

Big Smiley Tiger

I would be remiss in not mentioning that I think the conditions in Thai zoos, especially this Tiger Zoo, is horrible.  I’m not an activist, but it really hurts to see these magnificent animals kept in such austere environments.   To be fair I’d have to say with the exception of zoos in Japan and a few in Korea most Asian zoos I’ve seen are on this level or worse.  We should be able to do better than this for those we take from their natural habitats.