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Failure Story : The Tiger Temple

I decided to tell tell this story after having visited the Tiger Temple in 2011, and failing to see how the temple was exploiting its animals.

Katriel Worrall

on 17 August 2015

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Transcript of Failure Story : The Tiger Temple

who had lost her mother due to poaching.
The monks took her in, and they later became what the world would come to recognize as...
...a unique sanctuary where monks and tigers lived together in harmony.
This year, in April,
it was shut down.
What happened?
The Tiger Temple say that in 1999...
they were given a young female tiger cub
Can you see
the truth?
The Tiger Temple
Our failure to see the truth...
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how can we learn
from failure
how to keep
our eyes open?
(Pinimgcom, 2015)
(Alphacoderscom, 2015)
(Alphacoderscom, 2015)
(Chiangraitimescom, 2015)
(Angloitalianfollowuscom, 2015)
(Streetdealsg, 2015)
(Tripadealcomau, 2015)
(Thailandtourscentercom, 2015)
(Tripadvisorcom, 2015)
(Wordpresscom, 2015)
(Wordpresscom, 2015)
(Tesolaucom, 2015)
(Yogoyocom, 2015)
(Aroundtheworldin80jobscom, 2015)
(Sassygoldcoastcom, 2015)
(Meetplangocom, 2015)
(Holidaycheckcom, 2015)
(Collettevacationstravel, 2015)
(Alphacoderscom, 2015)
(Almostzaracom, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
(Tripadvisorconz, 2015)
Myself (Katriel), 2011
Myself (Katriel), 2011
(Animal planet, 2015)
(Cee4lifeaustralia, 2015)
So star-struck by the chance to be close to them...
we tourists
often fail to see the signs of animal exploitation.
I believed that my failure to see the truth
was out of my control
...but the reality is
we can learn from this,
to stay critical about how animals are really being treated.
(Fun-lovercom, 2015)
Living Conditions
What does a tiger need?
GFAS - the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries - requires that an enclosure housing two tigers is at least 1,200 square feet in size.
(Lions, tigers and bears, c2012)
That is... around the same floor area of a spacious condo.
The Tiger Temple cages...
...fall far short of this standard.
(Careforthewildcom, 2015)
"Our investigators witnessed that, far from being allowed to roam free, tigers were actually confined for 20 hours a day in small cages, measuring 31.5m2 to 37.3m2"
- Care For The Wild
(Careforthewildcom, 2015)
In captivity, tigers are stripped of many of the activities they would normally carry out in the wild...
Enrichment is a way to encourage natural behaviors, fight boredom and improve psychological health.
Many zoos do this.
(Big cat rescue, 2015)
(Tigertempleofficialcom, 2015)
The Tiger Temple used long bamboo sticks with plastic bags on the ends to play with their tigers and exercise them. Tourists paid to see and sometimes take part in this.
But only 20 tigers got to do this each day.
(Matadornetworkcom, 2015)
Tigers live on raw meat;
Up to 88 pounds per meal.
(Seaworldorg, 2015)
Tiger Temple tigers live on cooked chicken carcasses (the parts that we won't eat), along with fatty off-cuts from beef and pork.
(Turismo-responsablecom, 2015)
(Aroundtheworldin80jobscom, 2013)
Tiger cubs are supposed to stay with their mother for 2 years.
Tiger Temple cubs were taken away after two weeks...
...and handed over to tourists who pay to feed them
human baby
(Thailandtourscentercom, 2015)
"Keeping an animal well-fed is a good thing; having an animal fed by tourists all day long until formula is spewing out its mouth is not."
(Matadornetworkcom, 2015)
(Aroundtheworldin80jobscom, 2013)
Press "left" arrow to return
The Wildlife Trade
"Assuming a normal birth rate,
the temple should have way more than 122 tigers under its care.
Where did the rest of the tigers go?
(Hint: Many neighboring countries believe tiger parts have magical medicinal powers.)"
(Matadornetworkcom, 2015)
What is it?
(I0wpcom, 2015)
The illegal trade of exotic pets and the body parts of rare wild animals.
This is a massive threat to tigers, as their meat, skin and bones are used in traditional Asian medicines.
"In India, as many as 50% of tiger deaths in some of the best protected areas are due to poaching."
(Wwforguk, 2015)
(Jeffrey hays, 2015)
Investigators discovered evidence that the Tiger Temple regularly traded with a tiger farm based in Laos
- and a Thai trader admitted to selling the Tiger Temple its first tigers.
(Turismo-responsablecom, 2015)
"At least seven tigers disappeared from the Temple between 2005 and 2007, and at least five individuals appeared without explanation."
(Turismo-responsablecom, 2015)
(Saasaorgza, 2015)
What happened
5th February
Due to suspicions of the Tiger Temple being involved in the illegal Wildlife Trade, Government officials confiscated over 100 tigers.
(Coconutsco, 2015)
18th February
"Inspectors seemed to have concluded that because there were almost 50 more tigers than the last time the visited, they must not be trafficking the animals. They have also been reportedly “impressed” by conditions said to be “even better than those at some state zoos.”
(Coconutsco, 2015)
1st April
The Tiger Temple refuse to let officers from National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to investigate them regarding three tigers reported missing by the Temple's vet.
(Thaipbsorth, 2015)
3rd April
Six Asian black-bears were forcefully removed from the Tiger Temple.
(Post publishing pcl, 2015)
(Post publishing pcl, 2015)
10th April
" The 146 tigers are to be transported immediately to the Khaoson and Khao Pratabchang wildlife breeding centers in Ratchaburi"
(Animals24-7org, 2015)
24th April
The Tiger Temple and wildlife officials negotiate so that the Tiger Temple can keep the tigers...
(Coconutsco, 2015)
27th April
It looks as though the remaining tigers will stay, but the Tiger Temple is no longer able to sell tickets to tourists, and have said they will no longer breed the tigers.
(Coconutsco, 2015)
Animal lovers from around the world
are continuing to fight for these tigers.
But what else can we do?
It is heartbreaking what some businesses will do for the tourism dollar;
You can support animal welfare by not visiting cruel zoos and other places like the Tiger Temple.
(Right-tourismorg, 2015)
Traveling guilt-free
be simple.
(Responsibletravelcom, 2001)
(Turismo-responsablecom, 2015)
Enjoy Your Travels : Travel Wiser
Don't forget us...
Myself (Katriel), 2011
And keep
your eyes
Information & Quotes
Alphacoderscom. (2015). Wallpaper Abyss. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=421910
MUSIC : "Curtains Are Always Drawn" by Kai Engel
Freemusicarchiveorg. (2015). Freemusicarchiveorg. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/The_Scope/Kai_Engel_-_The_Scope_-_02_Cutrains_are_Always_Drawn
Chiangraitimescom. (2015). Chiangraitimescom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.chiangraitimes.com/thai-government-looks-to-remove-all-tigers-from-thailands-tiger-temple.html
Angloitalianfollowuscom. (2015). Angloitalianfollowuscom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.angloitalianfollowus.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/DSC_4032.jpg
Streetdealsg. (2015). Streetdealsg. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.streetdeal.sg/images/deals/748056218815667.jpg
Tripadealcomau. (2015). Tripadealcomau. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.images.tripadeal.com.au/app/public/system/gallery_3s/261/all_deals_xlarge/ATBTT4.jpg
Thailandtourscentercom. (2015). Thailandtourscentercom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.thailandtourscenter.com/tourpic/151/5-tiger_temple_childrem_kids.jpg
Tripadvisorcom. (2015). Tripadvisorcom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/21/db/fc/beautiful-creature-awesome.jpg
Wordpresscom. (2015). Wordpresscom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from https://lovethewild.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/09-tiger.jpg
Wordpresscom. (2015). Wordpresscom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from https://sistersisternyc.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/thailand.jpg
Tesolaucom. (2015). Tesolaucom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://tesolau.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Tiger-Temple-Thailand1-e1404788457259.jpg
Almostzaracom. (2015). Almostzaracom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.almostzara.com/wp-content/uploads/tiger-temple.jpg
Yogoyocom. (2015). Yogoyocom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.yogoyo.com/travel-guide/anuj-thailand/kanchanaburi-photos/tiger-temple-kanchanaburi-thailand-4.jpg
Aroundtheworldin80jobscom. (2015). Aroundtheworldin80jobscom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.aroundtheworldin80jobs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/TigerCub-reized.jpg
Sassygoldcoastcom. (2015). Sassygoldcoastcom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.sassygoldcoast.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Tiger-Temple-DCG.jpg
Meetplangocom. (2015). Meetplangocom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://b2b.meetplango.com/files/2012/08/Lillie-Tiger-Temple.jpg
Holidaycheckcom. (2015). Holidaycheckcom. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from https://media.holidaycheck.com/data/urlaubsbilder/images/8/1142460406.jpg
Collettevacationstravel. (2015). Collettevacationstravel. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://collettevacations.travel/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/TigerTemple_0857.jpg
Tripadvisorconz. (2015). Tripadvisorconz. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from http://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/Attraction_Review-g297924-d942775-Reviews-or20-Tiger_Temple_Thailand_Tour-Kanchanaburi_Kanchanaburi_Province.html
YouTube Videos
Animal planet. (2015). YouTube. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from
Cee4lifeaustralia. (2015). YouTube. Retrieved 10 August, 2015, from
Pinimgcom. (2015). Pinimgcom. Retrieved 11 August, 2015, from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/58/8b/c9/588bc9a6e3237889196dcb4a8a3cf41d.jpg
Fun-lovercom. (2015). Fun-lovercom. Retrieved 13 August, 2015, from http://www.fun-lover.com/graphic-shop/Clips/images/Wildlife/White_Tiger.png
Lions, tigers and bears. (c2012). Lionstigersandbearsorg. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://lionstigersandbears.org/standards-of-care-new
Careforthewildcom. (2015). Careforthewildcom. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://www.careforthewild.com/what-we-do/campaigns/previous-campaigns/tiger-temple-the-truth/
Big cat rescue. (2015). YouTube. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from
Tigertempleofficialcom. (2015). Tigertempleofficialcom. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://www.tigertempleofficial.com/images/content/original-1382862616422.png
Matadornetworkcom. (2015). Matador Network. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://matadornetwork.com/change/7-reasons-think-twice-visiting-thailands-tiger-temple/
Seaworldorg. (2015). Seaworldorg. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://seaworld.org/animal-info/animal-infobooks/tiger/diet-and-eating-habits/
Turismo-responsablecom. (2015). Turismo Responsable. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://turismo-responsable.com/en-s36
Turismo-responsablecom. (2015). Turismo Responsable. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://turismo-responsable.com/en-s36
Aroundtheworldin80jobscom. (2013). Around the World in 80 Jobs. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://www.aroundtheworldin80jobs.com/tiger-temple-abuse-volunteering-experiment/
Thailandtourscentercom. (2015). Thailandtourscentercom. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://www.thailandtourscenter.com/tourpic/150/01-tiger_temple_feeding_tiger_cubs.jpg
I0wpcom. (2015). I0wpcom. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://i0.wp.com/lenscraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/thailand-20150102-1005-5.jpg
Wwforguk. (2015). Wwforguk. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://www.wwf.org.uk/wildlife/tigers/
Jeffrey hays. (2015). Factsanddetailscom. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://factsanddetails.com/media/2/20080311-kids_tigercons4_2 wwf.gif
Saasaorgza. (2015). Saasaorgza. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://www.saasa.org.za/live/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/TigerTempleHappy-295x315.jpg
Coconutsco. (2015). Bangkok. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2015/02/05/more-100-tigers-seized-tiger-temple-raid
Coconutsco. (2015). Bangkok. Retrieved 16 August, 2015, from http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2015/02/18/tiger-temple-back-business-after-reversal-wildlife-officials
Thaipbsorth. (2015). Thai PBS English News. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/missing-tigers-remain-a-mystery-at-tiger-temple
Post publishing pcl. (2015). Http://wwwbangkokpostcom. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/learning-from-news/517619/tiger-temple-standoff-monks-refuse-to-give-up-illegal-bears
Animals24-7org. (2015). Animals 24-7. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://www.animals24-7.org/2015/04/10/thai-tiger-temple-losing-stripes/
Coconutsco. (2015). Bangkok. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2015/04/27/tiger-temple-agrees-conditions-keeping-tigers
Coconutsco. (2015). Bangkok. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2015/04/27/tiger-temple-agrees-conditions-keeping-tigers
Right-tourismorg. (2015). Right-tourismorg. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://www.right-tourism.org/
Responsibletravelcom. (2001). Responsible Travel. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://www.responsibletravel.com/
Turismo-responsablecom. (2015). Turismo Responsable. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://turismo-responsable.com/en-s36
(Onegreenplanetorg, 2015)
Onegreenplanetorg. (2015). Onegreenplanetorg. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://cdn.onegreenplanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10//2014/10/Screen-Shot-2014-10-29-at-3.11.10-AM-1198x800.jpg
"It was observed that Temple staff would drag tigers into appealing photographic positions
by pulling their tails or punching and beating the animals.
Staff also controlled the tigers by squiring tiger urine from a bottle into the animal’s face,
an act of extreme aggression in tiger behaviour."

(Careforthewildcom, 2015)
(Careforthewildcom, 2015)
(Blogspotcom, 2015)
Blogspotcom. (2015). Blogspotcom. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ZAI4y2DkBGw/S2pDIZSbR8I/AAAAAAAADQo/L3I1W_2ChpE/s400/ft temple 1.jpg
(Ens-newswirecom, 2015)
(Rebrncom, 2015)
Rebrncom. (2015). Rerbn. Retrieved 17 August, 2015, from http://rebrn.com/re/monk-feeding-a-tiger-410832/
Staff are filmed beating tigers with plastic chairs
"The animals are fed boiled chicken every day.
Many are overweight and have underdeveloped muscles."
(Matadornetworkcom, 2015)
Behavioral Problems : Signs of Distress
The tigers at the temple were often seen pacing back and forth in their cages, or chewing on their paws; common signs of distress resulting from lack of stimulation.
Physical Health
Due to the tigers' poor diet at the Tiger Temple; leg deformities, lameness and poor eyesight are
common amongst them.
(Turismo-responsablecom, 2015)
Emaciated and starving animals are often seen wandering around at the tiger temple.
Tigers need red meat in order to obtain the enzyme taurine; which happens to be vital for the development of their muscles.
(Matadornetworkcom, 2015)
I once saw a video on YouTube that broke my heart; a grown tiger at the temple was climbing the chain link walls of his cage in terror as a member of the staff entered to clean it.
To see such a powerful and majestic creature
deathly afraid of a human being
... it felt so wrong.
I could only imagine what the poor creature had gone through to get like this.
By Katriel Worrall
Full transcript