It’s the time of year when the kids have finished school and you can finally pack your suitcase and head somewhere new and exciting. Where are you going on holiday this year? Are you having a one-week chill session in Tenerife, an action-packed adventure holiday backpacking across South America or a relaxing beach holiday in a tropical Eden like Thailand?
No matter where you go, it is likely that wildlife tourism will be advertised and offered to you for incredibly cheap prices. However, 9 times out of 10 these are unethical and cruel choices of entertainment. In this blog we will focus on the tourist trap of tiger selfies.
In Thailand there are many establishments offering a close-up encounter with the worlds largest big cat. If you’re brave enough, you can lay your head on top of a tiger’s belly and bottle-feed tiger cubs. While this all sounds very exciting, the reality is far from kind.
Tigers that end up in these establishments are kept in incredibly small and cramped cages void of enrichment. Tigers are fed sedatives to make them less dangerous, and employees keep them at bay by hitting them with sticks. The tigers spend copious amounts of time trapped with nothing to do inside their enclosures, and during the short time that they are allowed outside of their cages, they are manhandled by unsuspecting tourists.
Tigers are endangered in the wild and should be treated as a rare gem, but instead they are treated as revenue. The only reason any tiger should be kept in captivity is to be part of a conservation breeding programme, but unfortunately establishments such as Tiger Kingdom in Chang Mai are far from that.
If you travel to Asia and are offered the opportunity to visit a place like Tiger Kingdom, please say no. By funding these places, you are encouraging their existence and the cruelty to the tigers which are held there.
If you wish to see a tiger, why not visit a BIAZA approved zoo, or even better, take a safari in India or Sumatra and see them in the wild!