Tiger parks or ‘temples’ are popular tourist destinations in Thailand. They give people a chance to cuddle a cub and pat a full grown tiger. It sounds great – but these supposed tiger ‘sanctuaries’ are the last place on Earth I’d visit.
The marketing of these parks hides a grim reality – the tigers are treated appallingly. To ensure tourists aren’t harmed, adult tigers are chained so close to the ground it’s almost impossible for them to stand. Their claws and teeth are often removed and the tendons in their wrists clipped to prevent them from swatting or running. Drugs are pumped into the poor beasts to make them docile and ‘sleepy’. Yet even after all these precautions, tourists still aren’t safe – just ask this girl. To give tourists the photo ‘opportunity’ they want, staff at the parks often kick the tigers and pull their tails to get them into position. On top of this, many of these so-called ‘sanctuaries’ take ‘donations’ that they claim will be used for tiger conservation programs – but there’s no proof that the money collected is actually used for this purpose. Think twice before visiting a tiger park.
Read more on how tigers are treated at Thailand tiger parks here
Read about these people’s experience at a tiger park here
Check out negative reviews of tiger temples on Tripadvisor