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Wanders of the World

Tiger Temple

THAILAND | Saturday, 10 May 2008 | Views [9274] | Comments [4]

Patti:  My Life List has one more huge check mark…being in close contact with big cats. Our time at the Tiger Temple was far too short but there were moments and feelings that are burned into my memory. The tour had a variety of stops along our drive about 200 km out of Bangkok to get to the temple such as a war cemetery, the bridge over the River Kwai, a train ride along the Death Railway and a stop at a waterfall in the Thai country side.

 

Once we got to the temple, we had a walk through the grounds to Tiger Canyon where the tigers spend their day as a sort of playground and rest area. When the tourists arrive in the afternoon, the tigers are all lazing around and are tethered with padded collars around the neck. The many staff who handle the tigers give you a choice as a tourist to get a free picture taken by a guide with you squatting beside individual tigers or to get a “special photo” for a fee to have the picture with taken with the tiger’s head resting in your lap. You guessed it! It was amazing to have the tiger’s head so close that it could have just turned to me and given me a big sloppy kiss right on the face (I guess there could have been another consequence, too!). After this all to brief encounter, Amy and I each had a turn being led to different tigers to have picture taken with them but not as intimately. I wanted so badly to stay and play with the 4 month old cubs but I was whisked away. They were absolutely beautiful animals and had been handled by humans since birth. The experience continued when we were walking on the grounds and came upon two small cubs with their handlers. A group of about 10 tourists were directed to an enclosed viewing platform to keep a safe distance from the larger tigers who were being marched to another enclosure. The two and a half month old cubs were just on leashes and free to interact with anyone who was interested. I got to give them each some pats and scratches on the head. At one point, I had one of the cub’s head nestled in my hand to give it a good rub behind its ear and it turned to give me a lick on my palm and them playfully took my hand in it’s mouth…WHAT A FEELING! It took all my strength to stop myself from starting a wrestling match with it. This place started at a refuge in 1994 for orphaned tiger cubs whose mothers had been killed by hunters and were brought to the monks. The treatment of the tigers and the complex seemed very humane so it was pretty easy to accept them being there. It was a dreamy two hour minivan ride back to Bangkok as I replayed the moments with the tigers back in my head over and over again.

Tags: wildlife tigers highlight

Comments

1

I got huge goosebumps when I saw that picture of you two and the tiger - and then I was really jealous!! The whole experience sounded beyond awesome!

Love, Dodi

  Dodi May 10, 2008 7:39 AM

2

. . . absolutely my favourite picture of yours to date! I'm very jealous and happy for you, too! I can't imagine how it all felt for you.

love from
Shan

p.s. Cor & Karla are coming for a visit on May 22

  Shannon Jonassen May 11, 2008 12:33 AM

3

LOOKS AMAZING. AM HEADING OVER TO SEE IT FOR MYSELF IN JULY '09. tHANKS FOR THE INSIGHT
:)

  jennifer Jan 2, 2009 7:32 PM

4

Sick... This is co cruel.

  Natalia Grubek Nov 30, 2017 2:38 AM

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