Thailand’s cruel tiger entertainment industry continues to grow

28 July 2017

Exposing the cruel side of tiger selfies

A year after the scandalous Tiger Temple was shut down, Thailand shows no sign of abandoning cruel tiger entertainment venues with the opening of Tiger Park in Pattaya.

Thailand is a hotspot for tiger tourism – attractions are widely promoted by travel companies and online travel sites for tourists to get up close and personal with a captive tiger for a ‘once in a life-time’ encounter.

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.

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.

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.

Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, senior wildlife advisor at World Animal Protection said:

“We’re 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.”

 “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.

“We continue to urge the Thai government and embassies to take a closer look and protect tigers from any harm.”

World Animal Protection is 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.

"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.

Ahead of International Tiger Day, you can help end demand for cruel wildlife attractions like tiger selfies and tiger cub feeds by pledging to be an animal friendly traveller.

Petting, feeding and taking selfies with a wild animal is a far cry from their natural life.

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