Company behind cruel Tiger Temple plans to open a new venue

27/02/2017

The business behind the Tiger Temple tourist venue in Thailand, shut down after police made horrifying finds including the bodies of cubs, and tiger skins and teeth, is trying to open a new attraction. We must stop this

"These venues need to be stopped in their tracks because they clearly have links to the dark side of wildlife trafficking rings." - Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, our senior wildlife advisor

Our recent investigation uncovered the shocking news that the company behind Thailand’s controversial Tiger Temple has changed its name to Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd. and is planning to open a new tiger entertainment attraction.

Construction has already started at the new site in Kanchanaburi in the west of Thailand.

After years of allegations, the Tiger Temple was shut down last year following a raid by the Thai authorities. Officers uncovered the bodies of cubs, as well as tiger skins and teeth trinkets.

Given the appalling conditions at the Tiger Temple, we’re urging the Thai government not to activate the full zoo license needed for another tiger entertainment venue to be opened.

A large model tiger at the old Tiger Temple site, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand

Provisional license

The Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co Ltd already has a provisional license for this new business venture, transferred over from Tiger Temple Co Ltd..

Our fear is that a full zoo licence will be issued if the company is deemed to meet 11 specified conditions. These include the provision of enclosures considered large enough for the tigers and vet care.

Worryingly, these conditions fail to ban breeding or cruel tourist interactions with tigers at the proposed new venue. Tigers in Thailand need you, sign the petition now urging the Thai authorities not to grant the Golden Tiger Co the full zoo license needed to open a new attraction.

A tourist has their photo taken with a tiger at a wildlife tourist attraction in Thailand

Our colleagues in Thailand are in constant contact with Thailand’s Department of National Parks (DNP) and have already submitted two formal requests not to issue the license and to impose a breeding ban.

Ongoing investigations

Official investigations into the illegal wildlife trade allegations against Tiger Temple are ongoing.

Last year, we delivered a petition to the DNP calling for a thorough investigation into all captive tiger facilities in Thailand. The 32,000 signature-strong petition also urged the Thai authorities to ban the breeding of tigers at commercial venues which serve no conservation benefit for tigers in the wild.

Extreme suffering

Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, our senior wildlife and veterinary advisor, said:

"Tiger farms have nothing to do with conservation – it just brings extreme suffering to these wild animals whilst living in appalling conditions.

"These venues need to be stopped in their tracks because they clearly have links to the dark side of wildlife trafficking rings."

A lifetime of suffering

Last year, we released a study Tiger selfies exposed, on tigers used for entertainment in Thailand. The report documented a 33% increase in the number of tigers at tourism facilities over a five-year period.

Wild animals are not entertainers

Every day, hundreds of thousands of wild animals suffer in the name of entertainment.

Tourists are often unaware of the abuse that tigers and other animals at tourist attractions face behind the scenes.

To make them safe to handle, cubs are removed from their mothers at an early age. Conditions are harsh, with tigers often kept on leads, or in small, barren cages. They are punished or beaten to train them and keep them under control.