If you love animals, then stay away from Phuket Zoo.
If you love animals or if you bring children on your vacation to Phuket, you may want to visit Phuket Zoo. However, don't! The conditions for the animals are terrible and a far cry from how they treat the animals in a normal Zoo. And crying is what you want to do when you see how they treat the animals at Phuket Zoo. Phuket Zoo only survives because they lure tourists who are unfamiliar with the conditions into a visit. The tourists only visit once; however, a new load of tourists will arrive in Phuket the next day, and some of them will visit the zoo because they do not know the conditions.
Phuket Zoo is regularly in the newspapers because of the way they treat the animals. Most recently, Phuket Zoo was in the news in April 2019 with articles about a malnourished baby elephant with visible ribs. Along with other elephants, the zoo forces it to perform for the tourists.
Elephants do not perform because they enjoy it; they perform because the trainer punished them if they do not perform. The elephant trainer has a small metal claw (a bull hook) that he uses to hurt the elephant if it does not do what he wants.
You can have your photo taken with wild animals in the Phuket Zoo, but be aware that the animals are probably drugged so they "behave".
If you read other people's reviews of Phuket Zoo, you will see that most of them mention some very small cages that do not give the animals much space to move. Some animals, such as the elephants, they chain when they are not performing for the public. If you read the reviews of Phuket Zoo on Tripadvisor, you will have no doubt that you should stay far away from Phuket Zoo.
To top off the list of things that make Phuket Zoo one of the worst zoos in the world, they operate with special tourist prices. The tourists will have to pay quite a bit more to enter than the locals do. The entrance for a tourist is 1,500 baht (1500 baht) while the locals pay only 100 baht (100 baht). The 1,500 baht is even more than the big, animal-friendly zoos in the west charge. Phuket Zoo is a tourist trap of the worst kind.
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