July 04, 2008
Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is a Buddhist temple in Western Thailand which keeps numerous animals, among them several tigers that walk around freely once a day and can be petted by visitors. It was founded in 1994 as a forest temple and sanctuary for numerous wild animals. As of 2007, over 21 cubs have been born at the temple and the total number of tigers is about 12 adult tigers and 4 cubs.
The Tiger Temple practices a different conservation philosophy than in the west. In western zoos and parks the emphasis is on providing a natural environment for the animals. In the temple, at least until the sanctuary is completed, the animals seem to be treated more as family members. Although it may be possible for the offspring of the current generation to return to the wild, their parents will live out a life within the temple grounds. Their conservation philosophy seems to be working, while projects elsewhere often need to resort to artificial insemination. Over 10 cubs have been born at the temple in the last three years despite having no breeding program whatsoever
(Photo by SaravK)
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That is an awesome story. I wonder if all visitors get the opportunity to pet the tigers. For the American attorney, he would love to setup an office across the street.
Posted by: Mark1 at Jul 11, 2008 5:26:53 AM
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 visit the tigers for themselves, however this sadly means that the tigers will continue to be systematically abused and traded at the Temple.
Please feel free to email me with your comments or questions on this matter.
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
Posted by: Care for the Wild International (CWI) at Jul 11, 2008 8:03:32 AM
I am horrified but not surprised to see the comment here about abuse at this temple. I'm grateful that there are organizations and people that DO care enough to investigate these places set up to bilk tourists and play on their emotions.If all of this is true then I pray this place is shut down somehow- and fast.
Posted by: Pat at Sep 5, 2008 10:56:05 AM