Cobra Gold participants enjoy sights, exotic animals at Thai zoo
By Cpl. Mark Fayloga
| | May 12, 2007
CHON BURI, Thailand --
Service members participating in Exercise Cobra Gold 2007 took advantage of their time in Thailand May 12 when they visited Sriracha Tiger Zoo.
While the focus of Cobra Gold is improving interoperability and capability in conducting multinational operations, exercise leaders also encourage their troops to get out and see the Thai culture and attractions when they have time.
Gunnery Sgt. Phyllis M. Black, the exercise administration operations chief, said she enjoyed her time getting out and seeing the sights at the zoo.
“Taking pictures with the animals and interacting with them was awesome,” said Black, a Fort Wayne, Ind., native. “Everything has been strictly business since I’ve been here, so it was nice to relax a little and go out and feel like a regular. It’s probably the most fun I’ve had since I’ve been here.”
For Black, the biggest surprise was the amount of interaction the zoo patrons were allowed to have with the animals. As she put it, “in the States everything is behind bars,” or glass.
“I thought it was awesome just to be that close to those types of animals,” Black said. “The interaction was a lot more than I thought it would be.”
Lance Cpl. Mark P. Barratt, an intelligence special security officer clerk for the exercise, said he felt the same way and looks forward to being able to have stories about Thailand that are about more than the country’s nightlife young Marines often hear about.
“I’m looking forward to going back and letting people know how different the zoo is,” said Barratt, a Lehi, Utah native. “If for some reason I ever come back here on vacation with family or something like that, I’m definitely going to come back to the zoo.”
Black agreed and said she’s eager to show off her pictures with the various wild animals at the zoo. Black recommends anyone with a free day, head out and see a different side of Thailand
“I’ve told two of my Marines already that they need to go,” Black said. “As soon as we get the opportunity to give them some time off, the zoo is a must experience.”
More stories, photos and videos are availible at www.apan-info.net/cobragold.