Animals treated poorly at Dai Nam Safari Park

Today I went to the Dai Nam Safari Park outside of Thu Dau Mot, Vietnam.  The park itself is not bad for a one day excursion away from Saigon.  We visited the pagoda lined entirely of gold and visited a another pagoda on top of the man made hill.  It would have been a fun-filled day if we had not walked into the zoo.

For me, every time I visit a zoo, I measure it with my favorite zoo in my hometown of Seattle, the Woodland Park Zoo.   Until today, the worst zoo I ever visited was in Thailand.  What I saw at the zoo at Dai Nam Safari Park shocked me.  Cramped conditions, untreated cuts, poor water conditions, etc.  Each enclosure had inadequate running room for the animals.  The sea otter exhibit shocked me since I am used to the enclosures given to the otters at the Seattle Aquarium.   Just take a look at the photos below:

Dai Nam Safari Park, Vietnam

(Small area for 4-5 osteriches)

Dai Nam Safari Park, Vietnam

(Another Small Inclosure – A)

Dai Nam Safari Park, Vietnam

(Another Small Inclosure – B)

Dai Nam Safari Park, Vietnam

(Sea Otters swimming in warm uncleaned water)

Dai Nam Safari Park, Vietnam

(Small areas for the rhinos)

Dai Nam Safari Park, Vietnam

(This rhino was very unhealthy with an untreated cut near it’s eye)

Dai Nam Safari Park, Vietnam

(This elephant looked sick)

Dai Nam Safari Park, Vietnam

(This elephant’s trunk had a puncture wound you can see through)

Dai Nam Safari Park, Vietnam

(These buffalo looked sick)

In general, the majority of the animals were not active.  My friend said they looked quite old, their fur was not shiny due to stress.  Only the tigers and lions seemed content.  After visiting the elephants, we decided to leave the zoo and finally the whole park in general.

It is appalling that animals could be treated in such way.

  • This is not acceptable. I reported them to the Humane Society International

  • riina

    heard today that a tiger jumped over the fence and killed a worker at dai nam park. apparently the tiger was capable to jump a 2.5 m fence. the news made it to the german online magazine I read (,1518,648302,00.html)
    in the article it said the tiger was upset about the noise of a crane… well, I wonder.

    • @riina: I heard the tiger was not put to sleep. Will be interesting to see how it reacts in the future…

    • jethro mayham

      A tiger jumped 18 feet to clear a moat wall at the SF Zoo. It was aggravated by hoodlums at closing hour.

      In Vietnam, I have seen people throwing lit cigarets and spitting at caged tigers. I was not surprised about the conditions of the animals and don’t be surprised if there is another mishap.

      The US firm developing the park most likely turned over design of the zoo to locals.

      • tai

        “The US firm developing the park most likely turned over design of the zoo to locals”

        typical westerner attitude thinking you’re better than everyone else.

  • Jethro Mayham

    Spoke to many of my Vietnamese friends. Most have heard about the Dai Nam Tourist Park via radio or newspaper and fewer by watching TV.

    Most of them did not like the park but a few did but complained about the expenses. I guess the park is supposed to draw foreigners as opposed to locals.

    Terrible business decision and probably based on western standards. There seems to be some arrogance or just not understanding the Asian environment when they think they do.

    I lived her for 25 years and there are still a few surprises.

  • Jethro Mayham

    To Heather,

    I also reported it to the U.S. and the International branch of the Humane Society, PETA both U.S. and International, and IDA (In Defense of Animals).

    None of them give a dam and are more interested in members and donations.

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