Good day explorers, today I am making a post a little different, a post to discourage future travelers to take photos next to tigers.
Since 2005, the organization Care for the Wild International opened an investigation against the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, where Tigers were alleged to be sedated, physically abused, chained to the floor and woken up with water splashes to the face and forced into their pose to be photo-ready. It also was suspected to be related to Tiger trafficking, including whole adult tigers, tiger cubs, and parts like teeth, claws, and fur.
This Temple(*) opened its doors in order to save Tigers from poachers and traffickers, creating a save place for them to be rehabilitated and then released to their habitat. On the legal record, the Temple said it had 17 tigers, but in 2016 the number was found to be over 110. Breeding in captivity is mainly just for show and for profit, not very useful if the objective of the organization was to release them to the wild.
*Other ‘Temples’ are under investigation also, although none has gotten the same amount of results the one against Kanchanaburi’s Temple did.
Many tourists think they are helping support the organization with their donations so they could take care of the tigers, but it’s been proven that these Tiger-selfie tickets visitors paid were solely funding an abusive trafficking network where even the Monks were involved (3 of them were arrested while they tried to escape carrying Tiger teeth and claws).
Here is the official breakdown of allegations:
Here there’s a video of the Police raids that took place last year. (WARNING: graphic animal bodies)
Sadly, the official website of the Tiger Temple claims to be about to reopen at a different location, having acquired the permits to ‘rehabilitate’ Tigers to later release them, which is what the Tiger Temple’s original mission was. Let’s hope this time they get more control from the authorities and keep their business away from trafficking.
Isn’t always a much better option to photograph free animals in their habitat?
Thanks for reading. Be wise!