ALLOWING the Tiger Temple to keep all 146 tigers following its award of a zoo licence will result in yet more suffering for these wild animals, a wildlife group has said.
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation must take full responsibility for these vulnerable tigers, and move them to a safe environment, where their welfare will be considered, the group said.
Tourists can help to end the suffering of these animals by being responsible travellers and not visiting attractions that offer wild animals as entertainment.
Somsak Soonthornna-waphat, Wildlife Campaign Manager for Thailand, said: “Tigers at the temple are bred purely for the entertainment of tourists. The tiger cubs used for photo opportunities are often forcibly removed from their mothers to be artificially fed by tourists. Adult tigers are often kept in small cages or on chains for long periods. All of this is a far cry from their natural lives in the wild. “Many tourists unwittingly contribute to the suffering of wild animals like these. They’re simply not aware that their ‘once in a lifetime’ experience means a lifetime of misery for that animal.”
Somsak urged Trip Advisor to stop promotion and sales of tickets to cruel wildlife attractions such as the Tiger Temple, and said tourists could “choose to see animals in the wild, where they belong”.