After Years of Abuse, 137 Tigers Have Been Seized at Thailand’s Tiger Temple
Authorities have forcibly removed the tigers from this notoriously cruel tourist attraction.
Confined to barren concrete cells, chained up and forced to pose for photos with tourists in the scorching sun – life was hell for the tigers kept at the Tiger Temple, a tourist attraction in Western Thailand. The temple calls itself an animal “sanctuary”, but in reality, the wild animals who lived there were imprisoned and denied everything that is natural and important to them.
Yet foreign visitors, who should have known better kept on coming, earning the temple a reported $6 million a year from ticket sales. During photo sessions, the animals were reportedly heavily sedated, and their movements were restricted. Visitors reported that monks beat the tigers with sticks when the frustrated animals refused to cooperate.
Now, finally, it looks like the cruelty will end. This week, in response to global pressure on wildlife trafficking, the temple’s 137 tigers are being seized and transferred to animal refuges around the country.
The removal of the tigers comes after years of accusations of animal abuse, drugging and trafficking. Officials from Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation were able to raid the temple after obtaining a court warrant to rescue the tigers from the animal prison.
Authorities also made the shocking discovery that 40 dead cubs were stored in a freezer on the premises. And a monk has been accused of attempting to smuggle out tiger skins, fangs and amulets made out of tiger parts.
How You Can Help
Unfortunately, Tiger Temple is not the only place where wild animals are used as photo props or forced to perform.
Please, if you’re travelling abroad, don’t take selfies with wild animals, don’t ride an elephant and don’t visit a zoo or marine park. And if you see any travel companies promoting these types of cruel tourist activities, write and ask them to stop—because as long as these attractions keep on making money, they’ll keep on abusing animals.