Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Tiger Temple at Kanchanaburi

Up close & personal!
My daughter, Felicia
My wife, Mary
My brother-in-law, Michael
Walking the tiger to the canyon
I've always wanted to visit the Tiger Temple at Kanchanaburi ever since I heard about this place many years ago but never get around to visit it every time I was in Thailand as it is about 3 hours drive from Bangkok! However, this morning I got my brother-in-law to drive us there from Sankhaburi which also took us 3 hours (we were early by more than an hour as the temple only opens at 12.15pm). This temple opened in 1994 and the first tiger cub was sent to the temple in February 1999 in critical condition after its mother was shot by poachers. It died five months later but villagers continued to sent tiger cubs to this "sanctuary" and the temple has 128 tigers to-date! These tigers can live from 15 to 20 years in captivity and would probably never be freed into the wild as their greatest threat is poaching due to the lucrative trade in tiger parts (these tigers are so used to humans and would never survive in the wild). The entrance fee is 600 Baht (B$24.00) which is really cheap considering the high costs of feeding these magnificent cats. For an additional 1,000 Baht (B$40.00), visitors can bottle feed and play with the cute tiger cubs at a different enclosure. Safety tips: no shorts, red coloured clothings, strong perfume or sling bags allowed (tigers treat anything dangling as toys) and visitors are advised to face the tigers at all times; turn your back and the tiger may pounce on you! However, the safety records in this temple has been impeccable except for one incident last August! 

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