In 2016, the Thai government raided the notorious Tiger Temple in Thailand. For years, mischievous monks were advertising their tiger sanctuary as a place where man and beast lived in peace. Hundreds of thousands of tourists passed through their gates and paid for the chance to get up-close and personal with tiger cubs. What they didn’t know was that behind the scenes of this so-called “tranquil park” was an actual horror show.
When the Department of National Parks finally arrived, they found nearly 150 tigers and a veritable treasure trove of tiger products destined for the black market. According to the New York Times: officials seized 1,600 tiger parts, including pelts, amulets fashioned from skins, scores of teeth, 40 dead cubs found in a freezer and 20 more preserved in jars.
This photo was released by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, officials look at the remains of tiger cubs and a bear laid out at the Tiger Temple in Saiyok district in Kanchanaburi province, west of Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, June 1, 2016. A Thai national parks official says authorities have found 40 dead tiger cubs in a freezer at a Buddhist temple that operated as an admission-charging zoo.
The Tiger Temple raid was a long time coming for animal rights activists who hoped that it was the beginning of a countrywide crackdown on the captive tiger industry. But since the raid, things have only gotten worse for the tigers throughout Thailand.
In the three years since the Tiger Temple was raided, more than half of the tigers rescued by the government have died. Additionally, tiger parks haven’t begun to disappear, they have been steadily on the rise and now number nearly 70 with a total number of 2,000 animals in their “care.”
These facilities make money from tourists who pay big bucks to feed and pet tiger cubs. When the tigers are grown, they are slaughtered for their parts and sold on the black market.
Thai officials initially raided the unlicensed Tiger Temple to show that they take animal welfare seriously. The world watched as the 147 tigers were “saved.” But since, Thailand has dropped the ball. Neither animal welfare nor public outcry has worked to urge them to end tiger parks and farms within their borders.
This is unacceptable. We must fight to end tiger parks and farms in Thailand and throughout the world. It is time for Bangkok to listen to the millions of people worldwide who are furious about the treatment of captive wild animals held prisoner in these horrible institutions throughout Thailand.
Please sign this Care2 petition to demand that Thailand ban tiger captivity and ensure that those currently in captivity find refuge in a reputable sanctuary. SIGN HERE!
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate. #GoVeg