|The poor animal welfare standards at the Tiger Temple were first brought to our attention when a concerned traveller sent us their report from their visit to the popular tourist attraction. Her holiday wasn't booked via responsibletravel.com but she contacted us as she was keen to tell us of her experience and raise awareness of the issue.||
“The animal cruelty and abuse at the Temple was blatant and obvious to me from the minute I arrived.” Worried traveller
|A quick search on the internet found that many tourists enjoyed their visits to the tiger temple but other websites listed ways that the animal care at the Tiger Temple was below standard. A youtube search found many videos of children sitting on tigers and people petting these unpredictable wild animals.
We then approached several of our tour operators in Asia to ask their opinion on the Tiger Temple, some of which expressed their concerns as to where the tigers would go if the facility did not exist.
“The place is certainly nowhere near perfect, certainly by Western conservation beliefs, however, they are doing the best they can in the circumstances. Certainly, the alternative options for those tigers in Thailand would not be pretty.” Concerned tour operator
Animal welfare problems at the Temple are severe and include poor accommodation, lack of appropriate environments, veterinary problems and deliberate physical abuse of the tigers to make them compliant.
Despite its claims, the Temple makes no discernable contribution to tiger conservation nor will they ever be able to, due to the unknown species of their tigers.
Visitors’ safety is compromised with close proximity with the tigers.
Staff fail to prevent direct contact with the animals even when tigers are behaving aggressively. Furthermore, staff and the Temple as a whole, are unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with potential emergencies. The Tiger Temple explicitly renounces any responsibility for injuries or damage by asking visitors to sign a disclaimer at the entrance. CWI
What we did about the tiger temple
|We had one trip on our site that included a visit to the tiger temple. This was promptly taken offline. We also asked The Born Free foundation for their views. Although they did not have a report on the site they were aware of the poor welfare conditions from their zoo check programme. We also raised the subject of animal welfare in tourism to our members so other tour operators could discuss the issues.||
“It appears that the monks are not experienced in tiger care, and their reported plans to extend the enclosures to breed more tigers for release into the wild is of great concern.” Born Free
The report by Care for the Wild
Since then, Care for the Wild have released a report on the tiger temple.
What does CWI hope to achieve with the release of this report?