The temple currently has five tigers and has been keeping these since 2003. The Abbot claims that the animals were legally acquired and are registered with the Wildlife authorities. It is likely that the tigers were acquired from either the 'other' Tiger Temple or the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo which over breeds their inbred Tiger hybrids to a degree of extreme concern.
There are a number of Temples in Thailand which seek to imitate the unglorious success of the main Tiger Temple. Claiming to offer sanctuary these operations actually have no place in Buddhism and are merely fronts to rake in money and offer cheap (and sometimes not so cheap) thrills to gullible tourists.
The Abbot of the temple, Luang Pu Dharma Issara, has stated that the Temple will foot the bill for any medical treatment required.
Zoos in Thailand breed Tigers in large numbers and there is a huge question mark as to where the animals disappear to. Most every collection which does breed will hand rear to offer ignorant tourists to opportunity to bottle feed the cubs or pose with chained (and sometimes drugged) adult tigers.
The most popular facility at present is not a Temple, but the Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand. So successful have they been at duping the public that they are shortly opening a satellite facility in Phuket in the south of Thailand.
All Tigers in Thai collections are meant to be registered with the authorities and each is meant to be micro-chipped for identification purposes. Although this was started some years back it is extremely doubtful whether it is continuing. There is no check on what is happening to the animals. Some years ago Sri Racha supplied a huge number of tigers to Sanya Greatest World of Love in China.
Some zoos in the West also offer Tiger posing sessions or 'walk with tigers' and so unwittingly and in some cases uncaringly promote these nasty Thai 'experiences'. Big cats are not for playing with. They are always an accident waiting to happen.
This attack by a captive tiger is the 4th verified incident since May 2013. There were others earlier in the year.
The others were: