Tiger Temple of hidden horrors

07 June 2016

In a shocking discovery, Thai wildlife authorities have uncovered dozens of dead tiger cubs and hundreds of other tiger parts at the infamous Tiger Temple.

The temple, a popular tourist attraction, has been closed to the public since Monday, when the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) began an operation to remove the tigers following allegations of illegal smuggling.

The confiscation of the tigers is a positive step in protecting these wild animals from the inherent cruelty involved in wildlife tourism. Only the removal of tigers will stop their exploitation and ensure that no further tigers will be bred for profit at the venue.

The breeding of tigers kept under these conditions serves no conservation benefit - they are bred in cruel confinement purely for profit. It’s a far cry from their natural lives in the wild.

While the cruelty involved in exploiting these tigers for entertainment was well documented, we are deeply concerned by the discovery of the 70 dead cubs and hundreds of other tiger parts, which may confirm previous allegations of illegal wildlife trade from the temple.

The lucrative business of cruelly exploiting tigers for profit must be put to an end. While the Thai authorities are to be congratulated for taking this definitive action to confiscate the tigers, we strongly urge them to thoroughly investigate the death of these cubs. We are also calling for investigations into all other tiger entertainment tourist venues.

Investigations like this could shed light on illegal wildlife trade and help to uncover the hidden cruelty at other tiger-themed tourist attractions across Thailand.

This must be a turning point for Thai authorities, there must be no more breeding and no more licences for exploitative tiger venues. The confiscated tigers must not be sold back to the entertainment industry. This cycle must not continue, the Thai authorities need to ensure a better future for these tigers at a government or affiliated sanctuary operating to the highest possible welfare standards.

Tourists are unwittingly contributing to this industry by visiting these wildlife attractions. Once people know the truth, they can take action to end cruelty by avoiding wildlife attractions and choosing to see wild animals in the wild, where they belong.

You can put an end to exploitation of tigers by calling on the Thai government to investigate the death of the tiger cubs and shut down all of the entertainment venues cruelly exploiting tigers for profit. Please sign our petition today and ask for three actions from the Thai government: www.worldanimalprotection.org.au/stopthecruelty

  1. Fully investigate the deaths of the tiger cubs and the clear evidence of these animals being exploited for commercial gain;
  2. Investigate all other tiger-themed entertainment venues and close down all venues that are exploiting and abusing tigers; and
  3. Begin immediate improvements to the confiscation centre to ensure the tigers from the temple receive the best possible ongoing care.
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