Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Very Bad News - The Tiger Temple becomes a Zoo

There are several surprises in this story. The first is that "Kanchanaburi has now obtained permission to operate as a zoo." By that statement I understand that such apalling collections as Sri Racha Tiger Zoo and Phuket Zoo must already have permission. If permission has been granted to places like that how can anyone give any sort of credibility to the granted 'permission' for the Tiger Temple. I mean who are they? What do they know?

"The temple will now have an official role to play in conserving wildlife" Such statements are a joke. They do not know the first thing about conservation, or care for that matter. The article goes on about needing two million Thai Baht a month to feed the animals and needing to rely on foreign tourists to raise that money. This is a joke! The only reason the animals are there in the first place is to rake the money in off the tourists. This is no 'kindly peace and harmony my brother tiger' operation...it is pure and simple animal exploitation. Commercial greed dressed up in monks robes. I would love to see the accounts of the so called 'Foundation'.....as well as a stock list for the past five years.

"The time has come to open a full-scale zoo." they say. How very very frightening. There may be a time. I would welcome it. The time though is not now. They have a long way to go. Please read the following:

Exploiting the Tiger

Tiger Temple Negative Report

Black Market Tigers Linked to Thai Temple, Report Says

Letter to National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department

Tourists at 'tiger temple' continue to put their lives at risk by playing with big cats

There are thousands of Zoo Staff including Managers, Curators and Directors around the world read Zoo News Digest. I would like to think that some of those from SEAZA (within whose region the new 'zoo' is) would stand up and say something about this appalling and ridiculous decision.


Wild times in Kanchanaburi as the Tiger Temple becomes a zoo

Dubbed the Tiger Temple for the big cats that roam freely in its grounds, a forest monastery in Kanchanaburi has now obtained permission to operate as a zoo.

In addition to its 45 tigers, the temple is home to thousands of boar, deer, cattle and wild fowl.

Conservation role
The abbot of the temple, Phra Khru Winaitorn Phusit Kantitharo, is eager to see his new Dhamma Zoo taking shape.

"The temple will now have an official role to play in conserving wildlife," said Apitat Srimaee, manager of the Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua Yannasampanno (Tiger Temple) Foundation. After the temple agreed to take in a rescued tiger cub several years ago, thousands of animals have been placed in its care.

Foreign critics

However, foreign NGOs have in the past criticised the temple's foundation for keeping the wild tigers.

National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department director general Kasemsan Jinnawaso yesterday explained that the foundation had provided good care for the animals.

"The care is even better than many existing private zoos can provide," he said, adding that the foundation has adequate space and food for the animals. Veterinary care is also made available.

"Health checks have been carried out on every tiger here. Most are donated, while a few were actually born here," said Kasemsan.

He pointed out that the zoo, operated by the foundation, would be outside the monastery's compound.

Apitat said the foundation had given scholarships to eight students to study veterinary science and botany. "This is one part of our preparations," he said. The students will return to help run the zoo after they graduate. Veterinarian Dr Somchai Wisesmongkonchai is currently in charge of the care of all animals at the monastery.

The temple needs about Bt2million a month to buy feed for the animals. That figure is met mainly through visits from foreign tourists.

"We have been welcoming large numbers of tourists for some time," said Apitat. "The time has come to open a full-scale zoo."


  1. How can this be allowed? It seems that the one the the biggest boons for this place has been the program aired by Animal Planet; Animal Planet has an obligation to run another piece designed to expose these frauds.

  2. That should not be operating at all, I have seen abuse take place with my own eyes and I would be eternally grateful if someone actually gave a damn and examined those tigers, I have film and picture footage of everyone of those 18 tigers on display, simulatneously sleeping in a comatose state. Film footage illustrating the tigers being hit and them not even waking up. Ignorance is not bliss, wake up and smell the rat people, its right there in your face.

  3. Tanja has got it wrong.. there is only a few that hits the tigers, and that has its reasons, and its not bad treatment, belive me.. they want them to move, and often they are just taking away the wasps that stings them, they are afraid that tigers will be scared and bite someone.. Anyway, the problems are that its only about money, thai as white people dont really care of the corruption going on, because they get money. Not even enrichment is being done, becasue it costs money. Its very very bad for the tiger.. but to ban is not the solusion, the tigers would have a worse time because they will be sold as food and pets.. But it is a zoo, and the tigers are not happy or in any kind of natural state.. Max volunteer for different periods