Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo, the horrors of which Coconuts Bangkok covered back in 2015, is once again under intense scrutiny after photos of animals so thin you can see their ribs protruding went viral this weekend.
Yesterday afternoon, Facebook news page “We love Samutprakarn v2” posted photos of an elephant and a horse looking, as many netizens put it, “pitiful” and “starved.”
The reaction was swift and furious.
“I used to work there. The owner is a piece of s***, all their employees have quit to flee them. When the animals die, they feed it to other animals,” wrote one commenter.
“I was just there. It’s not just the elephants that are skinny, every cage you go to, the animals run towards you desperately asking for food. Even the turtles — who are naturally slow animals — when we offered them food, they practically ran towards us. How pitiful,” wrote another.
That opened the floodgates, as multiple netizens then flocked to share their own photos of “heartbreaking” animal encounters at the farm, which is, sadly, probably the most popular tourist attraction in the province, which borders Bangkok.
Indeed, the Facebook page also pointed out that it was the very same zoo criticized for letting the water in several exhibits go green earlier this year.
That story got the Crocodile Farm and Zoo in hot water at the end of January, when another Facebook news page, Black Spade Mam, posted photos (that has since been deleted) showing crocodiles and tigers swimming in vivid green water as well as several mammals looking frail and thin.
“Some cages don’t have any water… a lot of them were so thirsty we bought them water to drink. If you can’t even give them basic essentials, maybe someone else should be responsible for them,” the page captioned its post.
A quick Google search reveals that the zoo’s maintenance of the animals have been questioned several times before — with depressing Tripadvisor reviews dating as far back as 2014.
The Crocodile Farm has not yet responded to our request for a comment.
However, in response to the scandal in January, Uthane Youngprapakorn, acting president and farm manager told Workpoint that the crocodile pond pictured is 35-years-old and has never been changed for it was modelled after the reptile’s natural habitat.
“We’re not going to change according to trends in the media because people who are criticizing us don’t know anything about crocodiles… if the water is too clean, the fish in the pond will die because they have no algae to eat, then the crocodiles won’t have anything to eat… the pond’s ecosystem is complete as it is,” he said.
In regards to the skinny and thirsty animals, Uthane assured the local reporter that the animals are being well fed.
“You guys are too paranoid. As people in this business, we have the best judgment regarding how to take care for these animals.”
He dismissed the photos as attacks from corporate enemies.
When the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) surveyed the zoo after the initial allegations, they did not find any irregularities or mistreatment.
So who you gonna believe? The DNP or your lyin’ eyes?
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