Our concern grows as ‘new Tiger Temple’ takes shape and could open within weeks
We’re dismayed to see construction of the ‘new Tiger Temple’ tourist venue, by Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd., plough ahead. Photos taken this week show cramped, old-fashioned cages being built, raising fears that the attraction could open within weeks. We must stop this
Wildlife belongs in the wild
We’re calling for the Thai government to protect tigers and not allow this new venue in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, to open.
We’re concerned that tigers acquired for this new business venture will be trapped in lives of endless suffering, to supply the demand for cruel tourist shows and selfies.
More than 150,000 supporters have signed our petition urging Thai authorities to stop this new development in its tracks. This number is growing rapidly, showing how strongly the public feels about this urgent issue.
‘Inadequate’ housing for tigers
Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach, our senior wildlife and veterinary advisor, said: "The construction of the new tiger venue is well on its way. We are concerned that the old fashioned ‘row of cages’ is very inadequate for the housing of tigers.
“We fear that the inhumane treatment and conditions of the tigers in this new venue will be no different to those at the former Tiger Temple, which was involved in cruelty and illegal wildlife trade practices. This is why we are calling for the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) to not allow the new venue to open."
A building under construction at the proposed site for the 'new Tiger Temple', Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand
Tiger Temple was raided by police and shut down last year following allegations of illegal breeding and trafficking of tigers and their parts. The matter is still under investigation.
Golden Tiger Co. Ltd. has a provisional zoo licence, transferred over from the old Tiger Temple venue. If it meets 11 additional requirements, it could be granted the full licence it needs to operate.
Dr Schmidt-Burbach added: "With the new venue underway, it feels like the award of a zoo licence is being seen as a fait accompli.
"We must remember the reasons why Tiger Temple was closed. The risk to these tigers being illegally trafficked, bred for profit and exposed to more horrific cruelty, is immense."
A close up of cages that tigers are likely to be kept in
Clear links to cruel, former venue
The DNP has publicly commented about the new venue, claiming the project is above board, and stated the following:
- the zoo licence was granted on legal regulations and it permits the Golden Tiger Co. Ltd to build a venue
- once the venue is built, and if the company meets 11 additional requirements, Golden Tiger Co. Ltd. can acquire tigers for the venue
- the Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd. has no links with the previous Tiger Temple attraction.
We refute the last statement. There are clear links, which should be prompting the government to be cautious because the Tiger Temple Limited and Golden Tiger (Thailand) Limited are the same entity regardless of a change of name, director or shareholders.
Records obtained from the Department of Business Development show that on February 3 2017, Tiger Temple Co Ltd changed its name to the Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd., and kept the same registration ID and zoo licence provided last year by the DNP.
We’re urging the Thai government to take a closer look and stand alongside us to protect tigers from harm.