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July 2008: A new report by animal welfare and conservation group Care for the Wild International (CWI) has exposed the truth about conditions for animals within the Tiger Temple in Kanchanburi, Thailand. CWI is using their evidence to urge Thailand’s Department of National Parks to move the tigers to a sanctuary.
The Tiger Temple keeps 15 tigers for public viewing and petting and has been a major tourist attraction for a number of years.
WSPA supporters have contacted us many times about the cruelty they have observed at the temple; we forwarded these reports to CWI, which has been working on this matter for some time.
The temple heads have always claimed that the tigers kept there have been rescued from poachers, are housed the best possible way and are so docile because of the good care and peaceful surrounding of the temple.
But CWI’s two-year investigation, which included undercover research within the temple walls, details the very significant welfare issues facing the tigers.
The report also reveals illegal trading, human safety concerns and false claims of conservation work.
The temple houses the animals in very poor conditions. Staff harass the animals with beatings and spray urine into their faces as a crude method of control. The tigers are released from cramped cages only when tourists pay to have their picture taken with the animals.
CWI’s report reveals a catalogue of behavioural and physical problems experienced by the tigers – the result of the stress of captivity and appalling conditions at the temple.
CWI also discovered that the temple has been involved in illegally trading their older tigers to a tiger farm in Laos.
This is extremely worrying news and WSPA strongly urges the Thai government to take steps to put an end to this activity.
WSPA sincerely congratulates CWI on producing this important report and working towards the transfer of the tigers to a sanctuary. We thank supporters for sending WSPA cruelty reports about the temple – your information has assisted in building a substantial case.
For information on compassionate travelling – in Thailand and elsewhere – please read WSPA’s guide to animal friendly tourism >>