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The Tiger Temple in Thailand

A place where tourists can pet tigers just like they do their cats, here’s something you don’t see every day.

The Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua is Theravada Buddhist forest temple, in Thailand. It has been a sanctuary for many endangered animals for quite some time now, including several tigers. It was founded in 1994 as a forest monastery, where animals could find sanctuary and in 1999 they received their first tiger cub, which died soon after. But they kept receiving tiger cubs from the villagers who probably encountered them wondering through the forest after their mothers were killed by poachers.

The Tiger has raised money over the years and can now accommodate 12 mature tigers and 4 cubs. they live in cages and once a day they are taken to a nearby quarry, where they can roam freely. Tourists may watch from 10 meters distance and sometimes they are allowed to pet these magnificent creatures. Only one serious attack took place in the history of the temple.

The priests at the Tiger Temple are now gathering funds to build a larger facility and create an almost natural environment for the animals, so they can one day be let out into the wild where they belong.

In case you’re wondering, yes this is the place featured on Animal Planet.

Sources: 1,2

7 comments so far.

  1. polar325 September 26, 2008 at 7:50 AM
    With regards to the notorious Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand - following complaints from tourists and volunteers about tigers being mistreated there, Care for the Wild International (CWI) undertook an intensive two year investigation. The resulting CWI report reveals illegal wildlife trade, animal cruelty, false conservation claims and visitor safety risks at the Temple.

    You can read the report at:

    This issue has widespread media coverage:

    CWI's press release - "Illegal tiger trade, cruelty and human health hazards at famous tourist destination":

    "Black market tigers linked to Thai Temple, Reports says"
    National Geographic News, 20 June 2008:

    "Thai tiger temple a con job, says wildlife group"
    The Straits Times, 21 June 2008:

    "UK wildlife group slams Tiger Temple"
    Bangkok Post, 27 June 2008:

    "Danish tour operator boycotts well-known Thai tourist attraction"
    ScandAsia Denmark, 7 July 2008:

    Canada: CBC National News, 9 July 2008:

    "Danes join boycott of tiger temple"
    The Nation, 11 July 2008

    "New report says Thai Temple misleads visitors, abuses tigers"
    Ethical Traveller, July 2008:

    "Paradise Lost"
    The Star, 15 July 2008

    Spiegel article (in German):,1518,562903,00.html

    Tigers malnourished, illegal breeding, kept in sweltering temperatures 40 degrees or more
    “It’s a travesty”

    Additionally, Animal Planet TV channel have now dropped their programme on the Temple.
  2. Anonymous August 13, 2009 at 3:35 PM
    Ok it looks great, a giant teddy bear hunk of a cat resting up against you, and it’d definitely be something to tell all your mates
    there is definitely something suspicious here, they are caged, chained animals, they have no wild tendencies
    WHY? ? ?
    I’m guessing it's not from the serene monks and their Buddhist meditation!!!!! Please don't publicise this place, I believe it's wrong - even my domestic cat takes couple of hours before she warms to a stranger.
  3. منتهى May 18, 2010 at 3:27 PM
    OMG !!!
    I hope to visit this place some day
    thanx for the great pics
  4. Anonymous January 11, 2012 at 6:12 AM
    This is good site to spent time on. allergy
  5. felicity February 15, 2012 at 6:53 PM
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  7. Roshni Singh June 7, 2016 at 6:22 AM

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