Approximately 140 tigers live at the monastery, sadly kept there in order to entertain tourists. The cruel animal attraction picked up public attention this week after a tourist’s video showed a tiger being punched. But despite the video going viral and being watched by millions a few days before the confiscations, it was the illegal trafficking allegations that lead the Thai government to remove the five tigers yesterday.
Conservation and Environmental Education 4 Life (CEE4Life), an organisation based in Australia, published a report providing evidence that Tiger Temple have been involved in illegal trafficking activity. Their report was the crucial resource that helped instigate the Thai government’s actions.
“In light of recent evidence of illegal trade activity, we commend the Thai enforcement authorities for confiscating tigers from the Tiger temple. We hope that this action will send out a clear message that the cruel exploitation of tigers in the name of entertainment must end,” a member of our wildlife campaigns team stated.
Moved to a safer place
The five tigers have been transported to a government-operated animal reserve in the Thai region of Ratchaburi. We’ve supported and part-funded a project over the past two years that helped several government confiscation centres to improve their animal welfare skills, including the one these tigers have been taken to.
Other cruel animal attractions need to be recognised
Sadly, Tiger Temple is not the only tourist attraction inflicting cruelty on wildlife. There are many others across Thailand and other parts of Asia that cause ongoing suffering to the animals they keep in captivity.
“Our own research has uncovered that at least 621 tigers are currently exploited for tourist entertainment in 10 venues across Thailand. We will continue our efforts to educate tourists to avoid these atrocious attraction because a once in a lifetime experience for tourists leads to a lifetime of misery for tigers,” said a member of our wildlife campaigns team.
This week also brought other positive wildlife news: Thomas Cook, one of the world’s largest travel companies, stopped promoting cruel elephant rides and shows after 174,091 people signed our petition.