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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4 thoughts on “Unethical? Thailand’s Tiger Temple

  1. Dear friends,

    With regards to the Tiger Temple, you may be interested to hear that, after carrying out undercover research in the temple and additional investigation, British wildlife charity, Care for the Wild International (CWI) has now released its upsetting report. There are significant welfare issues, as well as false claims of conservation, illegal trading and human safety concerns.

    Please visit the following link to read it: http://www.careforthewild.com/news.asp?detail=true&I_ID=578§ion=Latest+News

    Not only is the temple housing the animals in poor confined conditions (for 20-21 hours per day) and harassing them through beatings and spraying of urine into their faces but also they have been involved in ILLEGAL TRADING of their older tigers to a tiger farm in Laos.

    We are contacting people on the internet to request that they cease promoting Tiger Temple as a place that tourists should visit on their holidays. We are also contacting people who have written general blogs about the Temple. People view these blogs and want to go visit the tigers for themselves, however this sadly meant that the tigers will continue to be systematically abused and traded there. We are also contacting tour operators and the like.

    Please feel free to email me with your comments or questions on this matter.

    Best wishes

    Claire Palmer
    Programme Officer – Commercial Exploitation of Wildlife
    Care for the Wild International (CWI)

    Media interest in investigation:

    National Geographic News, 20 June 2008

    The Straits Times on June 21, 2008.

    Video footage on YouTube:

    Tiger Temple/ Animal Cruelty -1

    Tiger Temple/ Animal Cruelty, Moving with Force- 2

    Tiger Temple/ Aggressive Tigers – 3

    Tiger Temple/ Injured Tiger- 4

    Tiger Temple/ Restrained for Photo-taking- 5

    Tiger Temple/ Visitor Safety Risks- 6

    Tiger Temple/ Enclosures- 7

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