Sunday, December 28, 2014

Buddhist monks live in peace with tigers (video)

Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly;
Tony, it's great! I'll karate chop massage you straight to Sleepy Town (

Here, Kimba, try using chopsticks.
There is a temple in Western Thailand where devoted Buddhist monks live among unwanted tigers, nurturing them and releasing them into the wild when they reach maturity!

The controversial Tiger Temple (Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua) is a Theravada Buddhist monastery founded in 1994 as a Thai forest tradition temple complex that has become a sanctuary for abandoned wild animals.

The temple is in the Saiyok district of Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province, close to the border with Burma (which the dictators renamed "Myanmar"), some 24 miles (38 km) northwest of Kanchanaburi along the 323 Highway. 

Hey, your thirsty tiger scratched me!
The story goes that in 1999 a tiger cub was given to the temple by villagers because it had been abandoned by its mother. Unfortunately, it later died due to the inexperience of the monks regarding tiger keeping.
Soon several more tiger cubs were given to the temple to care for, and the rest is history. As of records up to 2012, there are more than 100 tigers living in the temple.

(Etienne Verhaegen) "The Little Buddhas and the Tigers" (Les Petits Bouddhas et les Tigres)

Big predator cats love milk (
Tourists are attracted from around the world, where they can see enormous tigers lazily lounging wild around monk caretakers who go about with their daily routines. Some wildlife organizations have claimed that the temple has no permit from the Thai Wild Animals Reservation and Protection Act of 1992 and should be closed due to shady dealings with a tiger farm in Laos, allegations based on an investigation between 2005 to 2008.

Fortunately, in 2008, ABC News reporters spent three nights in the monastery and found no evidence of calming drugs being administered to the tigers or any other mistreatment. Both Thai and Western employees who were interviewed claimed that the animals were well treated. The head of the temple was interviewed and stated that their mission is clear, "To breed tigers and release them into the wild.” When in Buddhist Thailand, visit this wondrous place!

(Journeyman Pictures) Thailand's Controversial Tiger-Taming Temple

Who's a good tiger? (
"Taming the Tigers" (2013): Thailand's Tiger Temple is one of the country's best known tourist attractions. Although marketed as a sanctuary to help conserve an endangered species, some activists claim it has a history of exploitation and abuse.

"If you're selling animal exploitation as a conservation project, then I have a serious concern," states Edwin Wiek of the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. There's something undeniably mysterious and majestic about tigers, even in captivity. But while tourists are told the temple is a sanctuary for rescued animals, conservationist and animal rights activist Sybelle Foxcroft claims they are treated appallingly. "I personally saw sticks being broken across tigers' backs." The temple claims "assertive treatment" is the only way to train these powerful animals. In stark contrast, Foxcroft describes it as "probably one of the most horrific things I've ever seen."

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Thailand's Tiger Temple is full of real meat eating predators (Steve Winter/NatGeo).
(National Geographic Live) Steve Winter visits Thai Tiger Temple trembling with terror.

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