I was just informed by a concerned citizen for the welfare of wild animals that the tiger temple we visited in Kanchanaburi is under heavy scrutiny for their poor treatment of tigers. The temple claims to have rescued orphan tigers but investigation have revealed that these animals may have been illegally bred and traded with the owner of a tiger farm in Laos. New tigers would come into the temple and old ones would be traded out.
In addition to this disturbing news, it is claimed that the tigers are also being heavily mistreated at the temple. They are often beaten into compliance and though the temple claims that the cats are not drugged, investigations have uncovered that they are sprayed with tiger urine to obey. In the wild, tiger urine is a territorial and aggressive signal so the staff is demonstrating extreme aggression when conducting this.
Though I did not see any of this while I was at the temple, I would believe it. How else can you get the king of the jungle to lounge around like a helpless pussy and have strange hands touching it all day long? I am very sad that Thailand is condoning this kind of behavior and tricking tourists into believing that the tigers are being kept in a safe and healthy environment. Though I did get an awfully cool picture out of it, I am urging that any of you who are planning on going to Thailand in the future to not take part in this. Save your 300 baht and go to a ping pong show or something. (I'm just kidding, don't. Those shows degrade human beings.)
Here are a few more links for more information on yet another THAILAND SCAM:
Thanks for the heads up, Jane!