Animal Abuse in Thailand

Disgusting Animal Abuse in Thailand

When my friend Pin told me last Tuesday that we were going to pass my final day in Thailand at a “crocodile farm,” I had a bad feeling. Having visited Thailand’s controversial “tiger temples,” after all, I know that Thais have no problem exploiting animals for the sake of entertainment.

 

My suspicions were confirmed even before I entered the gate of Samutprakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo, located about 30 minutes of east of central Bangkok. I had a terrible feeling about the place — and the price, at a very steep ฿300 — but since Pin had driven us all the way out there, I wanted to give the place a chance, at least.

 

We headed pretty immediately into the “crocodile stadium,” but not before happening upon our first instance of animal cruelty. Think this monkey looks bad? The smell, which was pretty clearly from its waste not being adequately cleaned, was overwhelming. If I hadn’t been covering my face, I would’ve definitely cried. Pin implored me to look away.

 

Samutprakan Crocodile Farm’s stadium itself was also clearly in need of maintenance — a far cry from the one used in the comparatively ethical “Croc Shows” at the Australia Zoo. I tried to keep to my emotions and expectations in check, but the imagery used to decorate the stadium made it difficult to think of anything but animal exploitation.

 
 

Unfortunately, I set my expectations far too low: The crocodile “keepers” literally dragged the animals out of the shallow pools where they’d been resting so that they could tease and taunt them on the concrete. This mostly involved poking and hitting them with sticks, but an one point, one of the young men actually put his hand inside the crocodile’s mouth. I’m shocked it didn’t get bitten off!

I have no idea what happened after that, because we didn’t stick around long enough to find out. At this point, I truly wanted to leave the place altogether, but for some reason, we ended up walking around for a little while longer.

 
 

The good news? Crocodile cruelty is confined to the stadium. The bad news? Cruelty at Samutprakan Crocodile Farm isn’t just confined to crocodiles.

 

To make matters even worse, the place is filthy, poorly decorated and generally feels like the cesspool it is. I really don’t like to use Leave Your Daily Hell as a platform for talking shit, but I will say unequivocally that Samutprakan Crocodile Farm is the worst place I’ve ever visited. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody, unless you have a role in animal rights and can help these poor creatures.

 

About The Author

is the author of 670 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell.

Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!

  • http://GreenGlobalTravel.com/ Bret @ GreenGlobalTravel

    Thanks for posting this, Robert. You should reach out to PETA, WWF and Defenders of Wildlife with this story and see if they can point you in the direction of someone who could do something about it. Worse case scenario, you end up having a connection at a major wildlife organization!

  • Megan Bonnett

    Thank you for shedding light on that wretched place…what a terrible way for those amazing creatures to spend their days…

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Yes, it is awful, and unfortunately, I had no way to fight against it in Thailand. I can only hope my publication of this article — and promoting it as Bret suggested above — will shed light on it. Oh and by the way, Megan, you should read Bret’s blog Green Global Travel, being the rockstar naturalist that you are.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Bret: I am definitely going to do that! I casually copied PETA on the tweet, as you probably saw, and am hoping someone catches wind of it that way. But I definitely want to call attention to this, since dozens like it certainly exist elsewhere in Thailand. Unfortunately, because Thailand has no organizations protecting wildlife (none accessible to English speakers, anyway), I couldn’t take action while there. I want to make waves!

  • Dianaprince

    Southeast Asia is the pit of hell for countless animals. Many of the animals that wind up in glass tanks on top of the TV in your aunt’s living room for the amusement of your cousins sourced from SE Asia and spend their lives going psychologically mad and physically lame in the name of “education”. 9 out of 10 don’t even make it that “far”. Thanks for bringing this issue forward, Robert.

  • Bplives

    Unfortunately this type of ‘amusement’ is not confined to SE Asia. I was however highly amused when I (reluctantly) visited the Cairo Zoo about a decade ago and amongst other violations I came across the ‘Birds of Prey’ show where this guy goes into the cage with the eagles, vultures etc and teases them with dead rats so they flap around for a photo op basically. Well on this particular day it seems that a couple of these birds had had enough and started attacking the zoo guy. All talons and beaks, hilarious. He escaped a bloody mess but i bet he thought twice before going in that cage again.

  • Dianaprince

    Animal abuse for profit is rampant throughout the world and, often, well-meaning people do not realize the behind the scenes realities for the animals in the shows and exhibits they are financing. It’s supply and demand 101. If someone is willing to pay to see xyz animal doing whatever ridiculous thing, someone is willing to provide the animal/s regardless of how they get them, “train” them, keep them. My comment was more to about the actual pet trade coming out of Southeast Asia, animals that wind up in people’s living rooms but, yes, animal abuse disguised as entertainment occurs throughout the world.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Yeah and it’s sick. I felt a little horrible even being there in the first place, but I would like to think my attendance will be offset by people who read this article and choose not to go.

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Is it terrible that I wished the crocodile “trainer” would’ve had his hand bitten off?

  • http://twitter.com/finaltransit Priyank Thatte

    Hi Robert,
    I think this is trivial compared to the animal factories in north america that manufacture chicken, beef and other animals for consumption. That said, abuse is abuse and it will be hard to get away from using animals for entertainment as long as we are curious about the things they can learn to do.
    btw, google elephants and chains to find why these monstrous animals are so tame. :)

  • https://plus.google.com/116480057469316097585?rel=author Robert Schrader

    Priyank: I definitely agree with you — as a former vegan who was heavily indoctrinated/educated by PETA, I am all too aware of the abuses of factory farming in North America.

  • William

    what a little bitch… sorry not everything is nice fancy and polished up to what your used to. The crocs gets fed tons throughout the day, specially before these events, out of the hundred or so in the pool they pick one or two, they try to pick the most docile ones, and if you watch some dont want to play and so they move on to other ones, its hardly torture? they performers do tricks around the crocs, kiss them even. Compared to what you south degenerate fucks just shoot and kill them? hunting them as a game, even broadcasting it “Croc hunters” or whatever… nice.

  • http://leaveyourdailyhell.com Robert Schrader

    William: I do not personally watch or support croc hunters, so please do not lump me in with these heathens.

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