Outrage as Thailand’s cruel tiger entertainment industry continues to grow
The trend of cruel tiger entertainment increases with a new tiger venue in Thailand opening
A year after the scandalous Tiger Temple was shut down, Thailand shows no sign of abandoning cruel tiger entertainment venues.
There are only 250 tigers left in the wild in Thailand and close to 1,000 in entertainment venues due to the opening of Tiger Park in Pattaya, a city on Thailand’s eastern gulf coast.
Tigers at these types of venues are taken from their caged mothers at a young age, held in captivity and chained or kept in tiny cages just to entertain tourists.
“We are outraged that another cruel tiger venue has opened. The Thai authorities must take action and stop these cruel wildlife entertainment venues opening and prevent more tigers being bred in these facilities," said Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, senior wildlife advisor at World Animal Protection.
Although the Tiger Park claims to be a safe natural environment for animals, tigers cannot comfortably live there because they belong in the wild, not in captivity.
Petting, feeding and taking selfies with a wild animal is a far cry from their natural life. But once tigers are born into the entertainment industry, they can’t be released into the wild anymore.
“Tigers at these types of venues are not living in an appropriate environment -- they are chained or held in tiny cages just to entertain tourists," continued Dr. Schmidt-Burbach.
We continue to urge the Thai government and embassies to take a closer look and protect tigers from any harm.
We're also asking the government to implement the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) decision that tiger farming should be phased out and tigers should not be bred for trade, including domestic trade, in their parts and products.
Last year, we released an investigative report presenting the first comprehensive analysis of the tiger entertainment industry in Thailand. It highlights the role of governments, the travel industry, and tourists globally in protecting tigers from unimaginable suffering.
Read the report: Tiger selfies exposed A portrait of Thailand’s tiger entertainment industry
The report also revealed that captive tigers are legally bred for tourism and for the illegal trade in body parts.
This information came to light after the Tiger Temple was raided last year, and government officials found 70 tiger cubs in glass jars and in freezers, as well as tiger skins and large numbers of amulets made from tiger bones, teeth and fur.
"There has been an alarming 33 percent increase in the number of captive tigers at entertainment venues in Thailand in the last five years. It will continue to rise unless we as tourists say NO to visiting these venues and the government takes action," said Dr. Schmidt-Burbach.
There are also fears of the Tiger Temple Co. Ltd. opening under a new name, Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd with the construction site in Kanchanaburi (in the West of Thailand) now 80% complete. We have been tirelessly campaigning to stop this, and the public showed equal amounts of outrage with over 212,000 global signatures demanding the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) put a stop to the tiger entertainment industry.
A new BBC Three documentary “Undercover Tourist”, looks at the cruel tiger industry in Thailand and features Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach, senior wildlife advisor at World Animal Protection.