The owner of Sriracha Tiger Zoo posted a message on his Facebook page yesterday denying that the zoo will be closed permanently.
The man, Khun Sumeth Panyasakhon, who took over the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi province 10 years ago, now announced that the zoo would be closed for 14 days to comply with the measures of the Chonburi Communicable Disease Control Committee to prevent the spread of the Covid19. virus.
He wrote that the zoo’s general manager’s Facebook post about permanent closure was untrue, adding that he would continue to operate the zoo even if the zoo’s executives don’t want to.
On Friday, the zoo’s general manager, Wasan Temsiriphong, posted on his Facebook page that after 24 years of operation, the zoo was permanently closed from Friday. He said in the post that management would hold a meeting with staff on Monday to discuss the reasons for the bankruptcy.
However, Sumeth revealed new plans to make the zoo viable.
“We have an idea to renovate the zoo to make it a one-stop tourist attraction, including a shopping centre, restaurants and coffee shops to attract Thai tourists,” he said.
He added that Covid-19 had caused international sales of crocodile products to drop by more than 50 per cent, but domestic sales allowed the company to pay salaries to its employees. The company is granting a 70 per cent discount on its products, such as crocodile leather bags, meat and nutritional supplements, to also boost domestic sales.
“After the zoo’s Facebook post went viral, we informed zoo executives to remove the post,” he said.
“We will take good care of the animals and employees until the zoo can open again.”
Located in the Nong Kham sub-district, Sriracha Tiger Zoo opened its doors on April 23, 1997. The 250 rai zoo became famous as the largest facility in the world to breed and breed Bengal tigers. Besides tigers, the zoo also offers talent shows of many animals, such as crocodiles, elephants and pigs. There are also exhibition areas for camels, spotted deer, rabbits, and more.