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#1 9-5-2010 12:17 AM

Sapa, Vietnam
Couch Potato
Posts: 9

Tiger Kingdom, a prison for tigers.

For those that have never heard of Tiger Kingdom it is a tiger park and restaurant where tourists can pay to get into a cage with real live tigers touch them and have their photo taken with them There are 29 tigers and one lion ranging in age from three month old cubs to eight year old breeding tigers You are accompanied into the tigers cage by the trainers who carry sticks for protection and to beat the tigers to train them Feel free to ask the trainers questions like why dont these tigers have any water in their cage Or how come we can stand next to this big cat without it attacking us Or what is that stick youre carrying used for The tigers are very pretty and amazing so you might not have time to think about the welfare of the tigers If you go because you love tigers you will probably go in and will either be so amazed or terrified that just like I was you will be in a mist and wouldnt even question what should be questioned like why are the cages so small Why do they only have concrete or a wooden table to sleep on instead of straw If you take a step back the mist will clear and you might see what is going on The truth is that the stick is for beating the tigers into submission and that is the only way you can get close to it If you go near a tiger and it so much as looks at you like it wants to play with you then it will get severely beaten enough times that by the time the beating is over it would have forgotten what it had done wrong If the tiger is sleeping or playing or is just in the wrong position for a good photo dont worry the staff will maneuver the tiger against its will and force it into a better position just for you The tigers are kept in their cages for days at a time even when there is a free enclosure for them to be outside in some dont have an outside enclosure at all so spend their whole lives in a 25x25m cage with no company stimulation water or the touch of anything softer than a wooden table The usual excuse for keeping the tigers inside is that is was muddy outside and tourists dont like the mud A few of the staff treat the tigers terribly whilst I was there is one trainer would constantly provoke the tigers by poking them and tickling their ears and face until the tiger would get annoyed and gently go to swipe him away then he would beat the tiger with a stick across the nose behind the ear on the front paw and on the rear Sometimes he wouldnt even provoke the tiger he would just beat them because he enjoyed it he would then grab them and cackle in their face like he was on some sort of egotistical power trip The tigers were so scared of him that they would literally defecate themselves and coware down to this evil man that if they hadnt had the brains beaten out of them could kill in a second Many times I saw the trainers molest the tigers genitals just for fun The tigers have electric fencing in their cages to stop them clawing at trees or trampling on new grass One time I saw the staff wrap the wire around a tiger It wasnt on but thats not the point the tiger was terrified and couldnt get away Another time someone else pushed a tiger into a live electric fence so that it got shocked The staff seemingly have no qualifications and little education There is a reason that everywhere else in the world you need a degree to even get close to animals let alone be in the same cage as an endangered species I left feeling depressed upset angry and pretty helpless I had the oppourtunity to talk to the chief tiger trainer and told him exactly what I thought about the place and exactly what is wrong I posed this question to him would you wear tiger fur No of course not  he replied But you will come to work and deprive a tiger that you say you love of space water stimulation and beat them everyday That is worse than wearing fur those tigers arent continuing to suffer The tigers at Tiger Kingdom are better off dead There is absolutely no good that comes of Tiger Kingdom The tiger trainer explained to me that Tiger Kingdom is a business and that is the bottom line Money first then tourists then about 100 other things then tigers He was posed the question would you beat a one year old child with a stick  he replied yes yes I would  That cemented it for me really no possibility of change if the guy running the show would beat a childThe fact is that if a tourist wants to touch a tiger then that tiger is going to have to be drugged or beaten into submission A friend asked a trainer why there is no water in the lions cage he said that he was too tired and too lazy  to provide it The trainers will spin lies like the reason the tigers dont have water in the cage is because in the wild they might not find water for a few days This is not true a tigers territory is always situated in close proximity to water And these tigers arent wild they get food everyday so why not water The real reason is because they love to play with it which isnt conducive to having a tourist lay on themA European standard of zoos is that they have to be doing something to support conservation and education otherwise they cannot operate Tiger Kingdom I had presumed ran a conservation program or used their very successful breeding program approx ten cubs a year to exchange tigers with other zoos to increase the gene pool but no there is nothing They do make it clear that via signage that Tiger Kingdom is not a zoo it is a tiger park  so if there is any standards in Thailand about zoos then that is probably how they get around it Please do not give money to a place that takes pride in animal cruelty Tiger Kingdom has a very pretty face but on the inside it is ugly


#2 9-5-2010 12:50 AM

Anchorage, Alaska
Award: Vox Populi I
Posts: 180

Re: Tiger Kingdom, a prison for tigers.

I hate these kind of places, the Tiger Temple near Kanchanaburi, Thailand made me sick to my stomach as well.  So disappointed that I paid to go there and support that bullshit.  Never again and I would encourage others to avoid these establishments as well.


#3 9-5-2010 1:18 AM

Award: Photographer IAward: Happy Happy HappyAward: Bedbug I
Couch Potato
Posts: 5

Re: Tiger Kingdom, a prison for tigers.

Alaskan - fully agree, Thailand makes you sick, especially if you've seen any other asian country... So commercial, so tourist-oriented, so money-making...

Other travellers: Tiger Temple is definitely something you can miss during your trip, just like many other zoo-like places. You'll notice that very easily, there're almost no animals living free, seems like already all of them were catched and ticket-subjected.

If you want to see some real animals in Thailand, go to Lopburi - there's a complex of temples where monkeys live smile


#4 9-5-2010 4:24 AM

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Posts: 17660

Re: Tiger Kingdom, a prison for tigers.

I have closed this thread. There is probably a number of establishments named Tiger Kingdom in the world and it is not at all clear which one is being referred to in the original post.

I have no problem at all with the general issue of the treatment of animals in places such as this being discussed but I don't think it is appropriate to open a thread just to condemn  one particular establishment. Writing a review based on your experience would be more appropriate.

In fact, there are currently a couple of other threads around the forum on similar issues.

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