Monday, 11 May 2015
FOUR PAWS step in to help animals at Thailand’s renowned “tiger temple”
International animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has announced it will be working to find a solution to help nearly 150 tigers at the Luangta Maha Bua Temple in Thailand, a well-known tourist site which is more commonly known as “tiger temple”.
FOUR PAWS has been in contact with the committee of the temple in order to discuss how they could help improve the situation for the big cats kept there. The temple has gained notoriety among animal welfare supporters around the world. The Buddhist monks are keeping around 147 tigers there; visitors can pay to have their picture taken with the animals, pet them and even lead them around on a leash. Last week, a senior on-site veterinarian at the temple said in a statement that three tigers from the temple were missing. This, combined with increasing criticism of the conditions at the tourist attraction, led the local authorities to undertake a check of the temple last Friday.
FOUR PAWS is experienced in big cat care and operates a large sanctuary for big cats in South Africa, which is home to around a hundred rescued lions and tigers. Vet surgeon Dr. Amir Khalil from FOUR PAWS reported from the site in Thailand: “We have been trying for some time now to convince the management of the temple that the tigers are not kept in a species appropriate way. The animals are exposed daily to large numbers of visitors which causes constant stress, they are fed the wrong food and spend most of their time in small concrete cages or kept chained in the temple area. In addition, there is no controlled breeding program, many animals exhibit characteristics of inbreeding. This is definitely not an endangered species program, but a tourist attraction, at the expense of the animals!”