Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tiger Temple 2010

Tiger Temple 2010

The situation in the Tiger Temple had gone of the radar recently. I believe this to be a great pity especially in view of the fact that Thailand actually does great 'in situ' conservation work. The shame then is that the likes of the Tiger Temple, Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Phuket Zoo and others continue as they are.

Below is a report by Sybelle Foxcroft on her most recent visit to the Tiger Temple. This posted just a couple of days ago:

I have just got back from Thailand after getting inside the Tiger Temple to check on the tigers and other animals.

As the information from the 'Behind the Cloak of Buddha' was mostly gathered during the years of 2007 - 2009, I felt it would be more accurate, up to date and to give everyone the picture that is evolving in this place.

Between 1999 - 2008 this place has seen the death of many tigers, the inbreeding and breeding for greed, and the abuse of these magnificent tigers, along with lions, moon bear, leopard and the other animals damned in this place.

One tiger I became extremely close to was named Harnfa, a beautiful Bengal/Indochinese cross.
The has never been a time where I have forgotten him, or any of the other tigers in this place.

Over the last two years, fear kept me from going back into this place, due to the fact that they are corrupt, threatening and vindictive. With the help of two dear friends, I went inside the temple to find out who was alive and who was missing.

The information again is tragic.

Not only has the world watched the most famous wildlife trading place in the world begin and grow, I can now tell you that the garish monolith that the temple claims is 'tiger island' can only be likened to the makings of a tiger farm.

All reminents of the past horrendous facilities have been torn down, and replaced by lines of cage upon cage of tigers, now numbering 65 and growing.

About 20 tigers are on display for the public, however it was the fact that only 2 known tigers from 2007 were on display, disturbed me greatly. Some of the temple staff had claimed that there were 54 tigers, but no one ever saw them.
Where were they all.

I went into the temple to find them, and I found those that are left.

Not one tiger has lived past 10 years old. There are 3 original tigers left, but they are in such incredibly horrendous states that they will not live much longer.

I watched the shockingly fragile Sangtewan, sprawled on the cement floor with 4 tiny cubs, 2 days old. Sangtewan is bones.

The cages themselves are the same cement boxes shown in the 2007 photographs of the newer cages, however instead of one tiger in each of these cramped and desolate cells, there are up to 3 tigers in some, 2 in others, but all living a horrendous life.

And I found my Harnfa (renamed to Mek) He still has his marvellous blue/green eyes, he still carries himself with as the gentle but strong giant is always was, but at nearly 5 years of age, he resembles a tiger of 18 years of age.

Hernfa - the tiger with his head yanked up and down for tourists - is hagged, pacing, and nearly unrecognisable to his former self.

There is not enough cages for the amount of tigers there now, and when that used to happen before, that was when the trades occurred.

From statistics and information gathered, tourism is still high, however not as high as it used to be. But even more alarming is the fact that Australians are the most frequent tourists to this place.

The word must get out, we cannot allow this place to grow silently into a bigger monster than it already is. Please spread the word, and please sign the petition.

Over the coming weeks I will post the photographs, and the continuing story.


The above was taken with permission from 'Behind the Cloak of Buddha' Facebook group.

You can read more about the Tiger Temple by clicking HERE

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