After doing lots of research, I have decided against going to the tiger temple because I dont want to give my money to anyone who treats their tigers so awfully.
However, I was hoping someone might be able to recommend another place where I could see them, either in the wild or in a sanctuary where they are looked after properly.
I am also going to be in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Borneo if you could recommend any places there. Many Thanks! :-)
#1 NatalinaBallerina has been a member since 9/1/2009. Posts: 1
tigers r wild animals.
looked after properly means let go into the wild.
safari world may have some in bangkok dont know
so awfully? based on a few people saying that on the net? pretty poor research you have done
#2 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209
I imagine you are talking about the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi?
I have no idea why anyone would conclude that you've done poor research, since the consensus on both Travelfish and Lonely Planet is to avoid the Tiger Temple.
I agree with Travelrock, however, that tigers are wild animals, and any opportunity you might have to see one up close likely means that the animal is in captivity.
The only place I've seen a tiger up close in southeast Asia was at the waterfalls just outside of Luang Prabang, Laos. If I remember correctly, the caretaker said that this tiger was found as a cub after poachers killed its mother. No idea if that is really the case or not. From what I could tell, the tiger seemed to be reasonably well-cared for. Cheers.
We went to the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi when we were there last October.Try to keep well away from sites such as this but after having seen a couple of articles on the TV[Aus], decided we'd have a look.And quite honestly,wish we'd never gone.It is just a big tourist rip off.Cost me 500baht to have my photo taken with a couple of, what appeared to be,drugged up Tigers.Cost the wife 420baht as she's Thai[dual pricing system].Another thing I found amazing was the amount of Europeans working there.Don't know if they're paid or volunteers.I did hear from a Thai friend that the government is looking into the financial side of the Temple.Of course,the government has changed since then but thats another story.
I don't really think it's possible to see a Tiger in the wild,in Thailand anyway.Perhaps the Safari Park in Chiang Mai.
Most places that keep tigers in Thailand are VERY suspect. When it comes to animal husbandry, conservation and the issues surrounding, Thailand usually falls very short of the mark.
before you give your money or support to ANY institution doing this I would check them out thoroughly - most are little more than circus side-shows.
A good place to start might be Wildlife Friends of Thailand - a rescue organisation.....
Tigers are part of an eco-system - keeping them in captivity has to be justified y more than the urge to show then off to people - there needs to be a scientifically justifiable reason for doing so. It is usually because the species is threatened or habitat has been destroyed - so basically ANY tiger in captivity must be there for mostly wrong or negative reasons.
There ARE tigers in the wild in Thailand - check out the net for details, but the chances of an encounter are pretty minimal. Many national parks claim to have tigers but I think this is largely to attract tourists, whether they are really there or not is sometimes a matter for debate.
Personally just being shown a genuine footprint or spoor of a tiger in the wild is worth a million times more than seeing a captive animal pacing its cage
#5 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
I didn't find that the Tiger at Luang Prabang that well looked after.... when we saw it back in Feb 08 it was pacing the cage.. looking very much like an animal in distress... while the Tiger Temple isnt much better it is definitely a better alternative in my opinion.. and like everyone else has said.. you are not going to see a perfect situation for Tigers unless they are in the wild doing their own thing!
Volunteering to work with animals is frequently a very lucrative way of getting gullible people to pay money into a shabby operation. They claim to be doing great works and the people who volunteer often know no better and accept the word of the establishment they are "volunteering" for. In the mean time, they hand over lots of cash for second rate accommodation and food, whilst thinking the extra money is going to the animals.....
Those who come with a little knowledge are usually weeded out BEFORE they arrive or made to feel uncomfortable about blowing the whistle on a place.
#7 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
They are wild dangerous animals and people expect them to be kept in capitivity in a good way lol
If you want that to happen you'd be paying 1500 baht a visit but then the tight arse backpackers wouldn't pay that, but they complain about them being treated poorly.
#8 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209
TR - Can you explain that last post? Could you actually back up or make sense of one single word in it?
Are you saying that because Tigers are dangerous they should be locked up?
Are you saying that people complain complain about animal welfare in Thailand because they either cant afford or won't pay to see them?
both theories seem somewhat light to me could you expound on them a little?
#9 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
I think in a round about way he's trying to say that tigers are wild, so why even expect them to be kept in captivity, no matter how suitably they are kept.
Also, I think he's trying to say that IF there was a reasonable way to keep the tigers in captivity, the facilities required to do so successfully would be expensive to maintain, so that fees charged to visitors would be considerably more.
But many ppl are not going to be willing to pay high enterance fees to see such well kept tigers. So they'll complain about the high fees. Lower the fees and the only way to do so is with sub standard facilities.
#10 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111
I can understand you post!
#11 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
Sorry - I can understand YOUR post!
#12 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
> that tiger at Kwang Si falls outside Luang Prabang
> has died, think around the middle of 2008.
Yes, there is no tigers on Quang Si waterfall, only black bears. And I can't say that they are living in "natural conditions", this is a kind of zoo,anyway...
p.s. Visited Quang Si 2 weeks ago :)
It's a wonder you can understand any post Khunwilko with your total lack of logic.
#15 travelrock has been a member since 19/4/2008. Posts: 209
"I think in a round about way he's trying to say" - certain aspects of that post seem to have gone over your head!
So you are saying that this post IS in fact what you were TRYING to say? I asked you to clear it up but in te end someone else had to do it for you.....I think think that says a lot your posting rather than my comprehension of them.
#16 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
I don't actually like zoos, but did go to Chiang Mai zoo and was pleasantly suprised at how happy and healthy all the animals looked, not that I am an expert, but they seemed to have plenty of space for animals in captivity, and would reccomend anyone to go there.
However, hearing that Bangkok was one of the best zoos in asia I decided to go there after Chiang Mai thinking it would be even better. I couldn't wait to get out of there, small cages and the animals looked unhappy and unhealthy compared to Chiang Mai, again I am no expert, so only my opinion. But I would love to find somewhere to go and see tigers close enough to stroke.
#17 roynolan has been a member since 29/1/2009. Posts: 48
Yes, I have also been to chaing Mai Zoo a couple of times and its pretty good. The animals all seem happy enough and feedding the giraffes is fuuny.
The pandas that are on load from China are worth a look, if they are not asleep!
Please ignore Travelcock, hes rude and like to slag off every one that is lesser than himself, and thats everyone it seems.
"so awfully? based on a few people saying that on the net? pretty poor research you have done"
"It's a wonder you can understand any post Khunwilko with your total lack of logic."
"If you want that to happen you'd be paying 1500 baht a visit but then the tight arse backpackers wouldn't pay that, but they complain about them being treated poorly."
Just one thread! lol
I saw the tiger at Kwang Si falls outside Luang Prabang in March, 2008 and I'm so sad to know that he died, he didn't spend his life in a good way the last months of his life there.
Anyway, I saw a zoo in Thailand (even if I don't like to see the animals in cages) and I had a wonderful experience by feeding a baby tiger with biberon. The zoo is called "Si Racha Tiger Zoo".
#19 bfaresin has been a member since 30/1/2009. Posts: 2
The Sri Racha tiger zoo killed dozens of their own animals by feeding them infected chicken (was it sars or bird flu?) - presumably bought cheap "off the back of a truck" the place had to shut down for weeks to clear up the mess - - they have pigs suckling tigers and tigers suckling pigs - dressed in "tiger skins" - where is the sense in that???
It is nothing more than a circus - supporting this establishment is firstly supporting animal abuse and secondly showing how irresponsible some tourists are.
#20 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
jon_mac_mac is quite right feedding the giraffes is indeed funny,and we were lucky enough to see the pandas at feeding time, it was great, and I didn't feel that they were neglected, or in a confined and restricted space (even thought they are). I left there feeling happy, which is totally different to Bangkok zoo, where I left feeling sad for the animals, and disliking of the zoo itself.
#21 roynolan has been a member since 29/1/2009. Posts: 48
Do you mean "fun" or "funny"?
#22 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
#23 roynolan has been a member since 29/1/2009. Posts: 48
"Do you mean "fun" or "funny"?"
Sawadee Krap Khun Wilko,
Funny and fun but I said funny because I I just remember their great big long sloppy tounges come flying towards you when your feeding them.
It was a great laugh for the wife and I and you can get right up close to them too.
For anyone in doubt, the following are videos of an Australian lady who went undercover and filmed in there. This is all the proof anyone needs. The way they separate the cubs from their mothers is heartbreaking. Two new born cubs died while she was there because they were left in cold cages by themselves and not fed the number of times newborns should be. She witnessed tigers being sold and swapped. Please spread the truth about this disgusting place to anyone you know planning to go.
Part 2 This video is part two showing the cubs separated from their mothers;
#25 Steph88 has been a member since 31/5/2010. Posts: 3
Tigers are endangered animals. As such, a certain number must be maintained and bred in captivity - because their habitat is shrinking and that's a fact of life that isn't going away. No legislation or movement is going to change that. Recognizing this, we have to understand that only a limited number of Tigers are going to survive in the wild - and therefore the breeding and maintenance of Tigers in captivity is a necessity. Of course, this being done respsonibly and humanly is preferable to it being done with callous disregard to the animals well being.
And leave it to Wilko to turn it into a personal attack. That's his specialty.
#26 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Firstly MM - it has been explained many, many times why the "breeding" program at the Temple is not only unsatisfactory but actually DAMAGING to Tiger conservation.
secondly it has been reported quite recently that there is enough "jungle" in Thailand alone to support a Tiger population considerably higher than it is at present. I think the figure was about 2000, whereas the population for the whole region is now about 350.
PS - Tigers bred in captivity are usually even if bred correctly not suitable for release into the wild.
#27 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
The Tiger Kingdom just north of Chiang Mai is (arguably) a lot better than the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi. Animals not drugged down or sprayed with each others urine or other harsh training methods used. Of course ideally aniumals would be free to roam the wild but that is simply unrealistic in the real Thailand. The Tiger Kingdom is a breeding program beginning with two adults, Rambo and Lucy, and now have about 26 tigers ranging from cubs to young adults to seniors (R&L). It is very successful, businesswise, but you decide if it's a humanely-run place. Personally I'd give 'em about a 7/10 from what I've seen.
"Firstly MM - it has been explained many, many times why the "breeding" program at the Temple is not only unsatisfactory but actually DAMAGING to Tiger conservation."
Again, I wasn't defending the Temple. I was defending breeding in captivity - which is the only way the animals won't go extinct.
"PS - Tigers bred in captivity are usually even if bred correctly not suitable for release into the wild."
Captive breeding of animals and release into the wild presents huge challenges. But for now, and for the foreseeable future, captive breeding is the only realistic option to guarantee the speicies survival.
#29 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
1 - so you understand why the temple breeding program is useless?
2- Breeding in captivity - and I have no idea why or where you got the idea is NOT the only way to preserve the species.
TI really haven'y got time to explain the basics of conservation to you - do PLEASE before you write any more, get some understanding of the issues involved.
try asking a 10 year old schoolchild - they will certainly have a better grasp than you.
#30 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
"1 - so you understand why the temple breeding program is useless?"
The problem I have with the temple program is the treatment of the animals.
"2- Breeding in captivity - and I have no idea why or where you got the idea is NOT the only way to preserve the species."
If there is no reasonable habitat preserved - and there ain't going to be - then captive breeding is it.
#31 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
How many times?????
THere IS habitat!
THe breeding program is producing HYBRIDS - which are not the subspecies (Corbetts) native to Thailand - if they were to get out and breed with the local population the species would die out.
Tigers in the wild perform an important function - they are the top of the food chain and help to keep the balance of a jungle eco-system. They are not just wanted in the wild for sentimental purposes they are needed to maintain OTHER species of flora and fauna.
If one animal becomes extinct it inevitably has an effect on the eco-system to a greater or lesser extent. It is no longer part of that environment...this may be only a small step with some creatures but others the effect is more profound.
Conservationists are not the same thing as "animal lovers" they don't want to "pet" and poke animals, they want to see a functioning eco-system of which ultimately we are part.
The Tiger Temple is quite the opposite to this - it is an animal show. a circus where creatures are kept in captivity poorly attended to, without sufficient professional husbandry or advice and whose function as nothing more than objects of human gratification or breeding machines for the financial gain for the proprietors.
#32 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
"How many times?????
THere IS habitat!"
The habitat is not going to survive. Not in the quantity needed to sustain Tigers. Human encorachment is only going to get worse, it's not going to get better. That's reality.
#33 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Look - MM - you're now just guessing and making it up as you go along - PLEASEc go and ask a 10 year old child - they will educate you.
#34 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
there is an interesting albeit imperfect parallel to the tiger captive breeding efforts with what was done with california condors. as it was, the california condor was fast becoming extinct due to a number of concerns, including loss of habitat and lead poisoning (from hunters fragmented bullets in the carion the birds eat).
it was a gutsy and some thought reckless move, but a few decades ago, the entire wild california condor population was captured and a captive breeding program started. at that time, there were fewer than 40 birds in the world. there are now over 400 and that number is climbing every year.
the program stumbled at first, largely due to difficulties of re-introducing birds to the wild, but eventually they figured out the right way to do it and the species has pretty much been saved from the brink.
again, an imperfect analogy, but in this case the captive breeding program did make the difference. i suspect there are lessons to be learned that would apply to tigers as well. and re-introduction, while definitely a challenge, isn't impossible.
Unfortunately one rule doesn't apply to all species.
e.g. - you can breed and put in fish wherever you like - often with disastrous eco side effects.
and as I've pointed out - if you introduce Tigers that are hybrids they will ruin the gene-pool of the wild population resulting in the extinction of the species.
THere are many reasons for not releasing the Temple animals and no one is seriously suggesting they should be - except perhaps the monks). apart from the apocalyptic effect on the indigenous population, they would in all likelihood not only be unable to look after themselves hunt etc but would have no fear of humans - with some ghastly even gory consequences.
As I aid - there is a report - I have the details somewhere that suggests that there is enough land available in Thailand alone to support a wild population 10 times higher than at present.
Keeping "endangered" animals in gages so we can look at them is not part of a sound ecological solution.
#36 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
BTW - the lesson to draw from the California exercise is that it was carried out with an immense amount of scientific research and also funded well. it was far from "reckless" - it was researched in depth before being carried out and sound scientific principles were followed.
It also shows that there was enough space to support a Condor population and with properly enforced regulations and management the operation I believe was a success.
You can see clearly that the Temple does not address one single issue that the Condor program embraced.
#37 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
thanks for sharing this info about the topic of wild life,
i can share this to my friends who's working in wild life.
#38 apriljune has been a member since 1/6/2010. Posts: 13