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Thai authorities have retracted their decision to seize all 147 tigers from the Tiger Temple. Instead, the tigers will be allowed to remain at the temple on the condition that the temple is not run as a business and the temple does not continue breeding tigers.

It is unclear what caused this dramatic change of heart and the move is considered as a step backwards by wildlife activists and animal lovers who envisaged a better future for these “working” tigers.

It remains to be seen how the Tiger Temple will be run and in what form they will adhere to the new conditions.

With the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation (DNP) apparent watering down its of its initial resolve to seize the tigers, it may seem that efforts to free these tigers from commercial use has been thwarted, and the fate of these tigers has been sealed by “the powers that be.”

Taking a Stand for Tigers

However, no business can exist without a steady demand for its product. And while it’s easy to point the finger at the parties involved, it is up to us as consumers with a conscience to boycott the temple and keep spreading the word that tourists should not attend.

As animal lovers and activists, we have an empathy for these creatures that others seem to find easy to ignore if indeed they ever had any. When injustices happen, it is easy for people to become angry and aggressive. Which could prove self-defeating and result in people losing sight of their true intention.

Compassion is true power and is stronger than any influence motivated by self-interest. People who are true activists are not motivated by a need for power or money or fame but rather by a desire to provide retribution for the injustice and cruelty such as that shown to these tigers.

The intention is not to win battles or seek revenge but to simply return these captive tigers to a true sanctuary as close to nature as possible where they don’t have to work or reproduce or even die for a living.

Change may not happen overnight, but there is an undeniable growing awareness which is becoming impossible to ignore. There may still be hope for these tigers. There is certainly a viable and more humane alternative.

The Tiger Temple is only one of many tourist attractions that exploits wild animals for human entertainment. What next happens there will be closely monitored by concerned animal lovers around the world. It will also be indicative of the future of the other zoos, safaris, aquariums and animal shows which have questionable practices and ethics. If one falls, surely, the rest must follow through.

Every action, every word we speak in support of animal rights can and will contribute to change.

We appear to be at an important tipping point, so let’s keep educating our kids, spreading the word and keep reminding people why they should not visit places like the Tiger Temple.

We have the power to choose right tourism and we can start by asking the right questions about the motives of the industry and our participation:

  • Tiger selfies or candid tiger photos in nature?

  • Glorified petting zoos or true animal sanctuaries?

  • Breeding tigers in captivity or protecting tigers in the wild?

  • Up close and personal or staying a safe distance from a dangerous WILD animal?

  • Donating money to tiger conservation or providing profit for powerful businessmen?

  • Supporting an economy based on ethical or cruel treatment of animals?

  • Rebalancing our ecosystem or humans messing with nature?

  • Living by example or preaching without practice?

  • Ignorance or awareness?

  • Kindness or cruelty?

  • Life or death?

The fate of these tigers and other wild animals involved in tourist entertainment industry ultimately depends on the choices we make. What will be yours?

Image source: Koshy Koshy/Flickr

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6 comments on “Tigers Set to Remain at Tiger Temple. Here’s Why the Fight for Their Freedom is Not Over”

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1 Years Ago

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3 Years Ago

Agree with Antonieta. This article is Onegreenplanet unworhty !! Gossip !
\'Tiger Temple\' Is Not Abusing The Animals, Thai Wildlife Officials Say

Antonieta Lopes
3 Years Ago


I really like your posts but this one is nothing but OUT of reality!
I am so sorry but I need to comment it to bring more awareness for the readers and MOSTLY for who is writing!

Tiger Temple is a Buddhist temple HOME for 147 tigers some dozens of monks, few monthly volunteers and also a workplace for hundreds of local people!

You should know the place better before writing anything about it.
Before I volunteered there I had so many question marks because I always prefer to see animals in the wild and free but after knowing the tigers situation in Thailand and all the good work Tiger Temple does to protect them I can only say thanks to them for the amazing opportunity to make part of such beautiful cause. Of course nothing is perfect but all the efforts to protect tigers are welcomed, more than the critics and negative energies.
In my opinion, Tiger Temple should invest more in educating the general public in order to end or at least to reduce all this fake news and posts, but they are too busy trying to make a bigger place to the tigers and as we can all see, the outside help is zero because everyone is more worried about criticizing than trying to understand the work and effort that TT is bringing to the cause...

- all the animals (tigers, water buffaloes, deers, pigs, horses - all running free in the temple) in Tiger Temple were born there or were brought there from official rescue teams or donated by Thai people in order to \'\'clean their karma\'\'. As a Buddhist temple, they CANT refuse donated animals and also cant sterilize their animals. Is it correct or not, who knows..?
- from all the 147 tigers, only around 20 are "working" and those are the ones who have better personality to be with tourists. Why they \'\'work\'\'?! The temple runs in the base of donations and to feed and care 147 tigers plus hundreds of other animals, they need MONEY! Why the Zoos need money?! Why the sanctuaries need money?! Why the shelters need money?! So easy answer, right?!
- the tigers are with the public after their lunch (delicious boiled chicken!), from 12 am until 15 pm, which is the time when they are sleepy (in the wild they would be resting to be able to hunt at night). So, no drugs, only sleepy mood! At 15 pm, this tigers have their exercise time going to play in the water between them and with their carers (Yes they are all free in the water with the human family and, Yes, as a tourist you can watch and photograph this beautiful moment!)
- in Thailand, tigers are being killed or by poachers or by farmers because for a farmer, to sell a death tiger in the black market means that he will have enough money for all family for few years! So, the temple, gave job to the locals as staff who takes care of the tigers instead of killing them. This people create strong bounds with the tigers and live with/for them every day.
- the Temple is saving to build a bigger home to the tigers, where at least more than 90% of them will live in a wild but with protection from the outside world.

Please, visit the place and make all the questions you want to the staff. EVERYONE IS WILLING TO GIVE YOU ALL INFORMATION YOU WANT TO KNOW!

Tiger Temple is doing its best to protect this specie!
And You/We?! What are you/we REALLY doing?!

Maybe other nicer way to help this specie would be to help this kind of place bringing new ideas, new projects, new hands...anything which would REALLY bring to the tigers and all other animals a better future and live a good present!


PS: Tiger Temple has a very handy volunteer program in which anyone who want to help is welcome. And guess what: WITHOUT ANY FEE!!! :)

03 May 2015

A week after the DNP of Thailand said ‎TigerTemple (disgusting place)‬ can no longer make business out of tigers people are still paying entrance fee an photos! Very sad, people donot want to hear truth..

jan l
03 May 2015

Bless you, Antonieta. May the positive light of your Higher Power shine upon you and your good works. My you see, hear, and feel the wisdom shared with you, that you may be an enlightened person and blessed to be at caring for the Tigers and wildlife and Tiger Temple. Thank you!

Trisha Fermor
20 May 2015

Antonieta, I really can\'t take your comments seriously. Have you ever seen tigers in the wild, studied their way of life, watched cubs with their mothers and the reaction of the cubs\' father or, conversely, the effect of a male tiger who is not the cubs\' father? This disgraceful place in Thailand should be closed and the tigers released into a sanctuary. Anyone who knows anything about tigers knows full well you CANNOT breed a tiger in captivity and then release it into the wild. Wake up and realise tigers in the wild are in grave danger of extinction unless people like you stop treating them like cuddly toys.

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