The tiger temple in thailand is a place where an extraordinary bond between man and the world's biggest cats has been formed. The tigers here are so peaceful…its almost as if they have accepted buddhism as their religion. In fact, they even sit for the meditating sessions with the monks and kneel down in front of them as it they are the gurus. The tigers are so docile that the monks have to sometimes train them to fight otherwise they would lose all their power of self protection. The link started in 1999 when a sick baby tiger, orphaned after poachers shot its mother, was brought to the monks. Within a few years several other tiger cubs similarly orphaned by poachers had arrived. The most amazing thing is none of the cubs turned out ferocious on growing up. The monks believe that these tigers are none other than the former buddhist disciples who have taken rebirth in the same place.
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: http://www.careforthewild.com/projects.asp?detail=true&I_ID=580&mypage=Reports
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:
The Star, 15 July 2008
Spiegel article (in German):
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.
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