posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 10:09 AM
"It's the hottest part of the day at a forest monastery in western Thailand, and tourists are led by the hand, one by one, into the beating sun
to pet chained tigers and smile for the camera.
Every day at this unusual "Tiger Temple," as many as 800 tourists pay 300 Thai baht (9 U.S. dollars) each for their chance to interact with the
endangered big cats.
The tigers—several of which were born at the compound—live alongside monks and volunteers in what one temple handler called a beautiful blend of
Buddhism and conservation.
Though the remote monastery near the Burmese border is considered a must-see by some tourists, it's what the public doesn't see that has prompted a
growing chorus of wildlife groups, both internationally and in Thailand, to call attention to its conservation missteps. (See Thailand map.)
Not only does the temple fail to preserve dwindling tigers as advertised, experts say, a new report released today by the U.K.-based conservation
group, Care for the Wild International (CWI), asserts that the monastery has been trading the animals illegally with a tiger farm in neighboring
"What we feel is important is that people know this is not real conservation—people are being fooled. They are exploiting wildlife," said Guna
Subramaniam, the Southeast Asia director for CWI";
This has to be stopped, these so-called Buddhist monks are deceiving innocent tourists who have good intentions. Not only are the monks damaging the
name of wildlife conservation, but also the name of Buddhism and its good work in places like Thailand.
I wonder what the monks are doing with the masses of money they must be making of their tiger shows and exhibits? Its probably not going on real
wildlife conservation, thats for sure...