Friday, 1 July 2011

Tiger Temple Kachanaburi - Temple Gimmick or Wildlife Sanctuary ?

We have mentioned weird and wonderful Thai Buddhist temples before with the story of the Floating Nun of Kachanaburi and the Thai Buddhist temple made from a million beer bottles. But nearby the Floating nun temple is an even more famous temple - the Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, Buddhist temple north of Bangkok founded in 1994 as a forest temple and wildlife sanctuary which includes a large collection of tigers.

The tiger collection began in 1999 when the temple received a number of tiger cubs from villagers who had lost their parents due to poaching. There are now nearly 90 tigers at the temple and over 25 cubs have been born there.

The temple charges a princely 600 baht (£12) to enter and visitors can handle the tigers and pose for photographs alongside these magnificent creatures. However it must be noted that a number of international conservation bodies have severely criticised the temple for its lack of accreditation and its approach to trading and conservation.

What is right and what is wrong ?

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