Target: Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP)
Goal: Stop the abuse of tigers for profit at a cruel tourist attraction
Pictures of people petting and hugging beautiful tigers chained to the ground, or bottle-feeding an adorable cub at the Tiger Temple are all over the Internet. However, there are few pictures that display the deplorable conditions the tigers are kept in or the abuse they endure. The Tiger Temple needs to be shut down to prevent further abuse and breeding of tigers for tourism.
The monks state the tigers are docile because they are hand raised by people once they are a few weeks old. Tiger cubs are removed from their mothers within two to three weeks after birth; in the wild cubs will stay with their mother until they are two years old. The cubs are trained early and the monks can offer tourists the opportunity to bottle-feed tiger cubs, for a price. Tourists fail to realize as they are feeding a sweet, cute cub that it should still be with its mother. The monks carry sticks to hit the tigers if they misbehave, and will also pull their tails. Overall, monks know very little about a tiger’s needs compared to experts or conservationists.
The tigers are kept chained outside for three to four hours a day to entertain tourists, sometimes in heat as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They are supposed to be in the shade to escape the heat, however many photos show the animals in the sun. There is a swimming area where the tigers outside are allowed to exercise, yet some tigers are confined in small, concrete enclosures.
An undercover volunteer operation by the Care of the Wild International reported that some tiger cubs are traded from outside of Thailand, which is illegal. A coalition of 39 conservation groups wrote a letter to the director general of National Parks in Thailand, advising the director to investigate the Tiger Temple’s lack of connection with accredited conservation breeding programs and to test the tigers to determine their value to conservation programs. The groups concluded that the Temple does not have the skills, facilities, relations with accredited zoos, or even the desire to manage its tigers for conservation purposes.
By signing the petition below you will help urge the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to shut down the Tiger Temple and find suitable homes for the tigers such as accredited sanctuaries.
Dear Director of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation of Thailand,
The Tiger Temple should be shut down because the tigers live in deplorable conditions and are abused without public knowledge. The tourists see the fun and generally safe side of the tigers, however after tour hours end the tigers are forced into small, concrete enclosures. Only a few of the tigers go out during the day to entertain tourists and exercise, while many of the tigers are kept locked away for up to 20 hours.
Additionally, the monks are illegally breeding tiger cubs, even though they do not have a proper license. Not only is the breeding program illegal, the monks lack knowledge of a tiger’s basic needs, instead they focus on how to train a tiger to be submissive towards humans. The monks will repeatedly hit the tigers and pull their tails if they are not behaving. They also tear tiger cubs from their mothers by the time they are barely two to three weeks old, creating the opportunity to profit off of tourists bottle-feeding the cubs. The Temple should be closed and the tigers should be placed in accredited sanctuaries or zoos.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nick Hubbard via Flickr