Chiang Mai Zoo's Aquarium Open At Last...

chiang-mai-logoThe Aquarium, the newest add to Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo, is finally open.  In late October, the Aquarium shut down literally hours after its official opening gala, due to malfunctions in both the life support systems and the ticketing machines.  Apparently, sand had found its way past the filtration system entering the main tank, and creating water murky enough to delay the opening for about three weeks. 

Saltwater Tank at Chiang Mai's Aquarium

However, the Aquarium is now up and running, and is touted as Southeast Asia's largest with an expectation to gain 800,000 visitors annually.  The Aquarium was built as a joint venture between the Zoological Park Organization (an apparently governmental body) and an undisclosed private investor for the sum of $17 million. 

Saltwater Tank at Chiang Mai's Aquarium

Boasting the World's Longest Acrylic Tunnel at 133 meters (436 feet--longer than a football field!), the Aquarium is over 13,000 sf in area divided into 9 zones.  The tunnel itself not only allows visitors to gaze into the depths of a marine environment, but also takes visitors through a freshwater tank.

Freshwater Tank at Chiang Mai's Aquarium

I've not been able to find many pictures of the Aquarium online, so if you know of any, please let me know.

Unethical? Thailand's Tiger Temple

Thailand is touting a tiger temple where visitors can, once daily, walk amongst, pet, and be photographed with endangered animals, including tigers. The temple claims the tigers are tame, and are all the offspring from an orphaned group rescued years ago.

I won't deny the power of walking amongst these amazingly beautiful and powerful creatures, but where do we draw the line? Is petting a potentially dangerous animal truly beneficial to anyone beside the accountant at the temple?

And what of tameness via feeding the cats only cooked meat? Can this truly tame a big cat? I believe these cats can never truly be tamed, and I'm hesitant for anyone to work barrier free with the animals, not to mention letting uneducated visitors interact with them at will.

Plus, check out the photos. The cats look drugged, and definitely are chained up. Its a shame. And they call themselves a sanctuary.

What do you think?

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