A few days ago I went to lunch with a few friends of mine and one of the girls started telling me about her brother’s recent trip to Thailand. She then broke out her iPhone and started to showing me pictures of her brother and his girlfriend, to my amazement laying upon big ol’ tigers! I immediately though, “Where they do that at?!?” I swear, my jaw was resting on the floor. It brought me back to Siegfried and Roy and the tiger mauling incident. I mean, who in their right mind who do this? Sure, the pictures she showed me looked really cool and I am sure that her brother had ton’s of fun, but I’d rather get neat photo’s like that through Photoshop. Looks like I am a big cat too…a SCAREDY CAT!!!
Apparently, tiger sanctuaries are a very popular tourist attraction in Thailand. In the early 90’s several cubs were given to temples seeking protection from poachers. From this, the temple’s not only found a home for the tigers, they domesticated the large cat’s and turned their existence into an ever expanding tourist business. In Thailand, the monks raise, train and live with the tigers and this is the reason for the tigers non-aggressive temperament.
The Tiger Temple
If you do decide to enter into “the lions den”, the most popular tiger sanctuary is that of The Tiger Temple also known as the Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno temple. The Tiger Temple is located 40 miles northwest of Kanchanaburi, Thailand. The best way to get to visit the temple is by purchasing a full day tour. These tours range from $85 to $120 USD.
For those of you thinking, “Won’t these tiger’s try to eat me?”, the temple has gone through considerable measures to ensure that the tigers do not harm the tourists. Besides training them with care, it is said that the tigers have been de-clawed, have had their teeth removed and been provided a sedative while there are tourist on the grounds. This could be why in all the pictures I see, with tourist petting the tigers, the cat looks out of it and more or less drunk.
There have been numerous reports of tigers attacking, but none of the reports were on a tourist. The reports claim that the tigers in this facility have attacked the handlers and volunteers. This is just enough for me to stay far away from any tiger sanctuary, but hey, you make your own decisions!
Take everything you read with a grain of salt, even what I am writing. Click here to read a blog that share’s their “truths” about the The Tiger Temple and the safety of the sanctuary.
If you have been to a tiger sanctuary, please share your story with us. I would love to hear your experiences!