Tiger Temple ( Tiger Park in Temple ). Tiger Temple ( Tiger Park in Temple ), or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is a Buddhist temple in Western Thailand which

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In 1999 the temple received the first tiger cub; it had been found by villagers and died soon after. Several tiger cubs were later given to the temple, typically when the mothers had been killed by poachers. As of 2006, over ten cubs had been born at the temple and the total number of tigers was about eighteen. They spend most of the time in cages, being fed with dry cat food and cooked chicken to avoid giving them a taste for blood, and washed and handled by monks. Once a day, they are led on leashes to a nearby quarry.

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Tiger Temple ( Tiger Park in Temple ) Tiger Temple ( Tiger Park in Temple ), or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is a Buddhist temple in Western Thailand which keeps numerous animals, among them several tame tigers that walk around freely once a day and can be petted by tourists. The Theravada Buddhist temple is located in the Saiyok district of Thailand's Kanchanaburi province, not far from the border with Myanmar, some 38 km north-west of Kanchanaburi along the 323 highway. It was founded in 1994 as a forest temple and sanctuary for numerous wild animals. In 1995, it received the Golden Jubilee Buddha Image, made of 80kg of gold. In 1999 the temple received the first tiger cub; it had been found by villagers and died soon after. Several tiger cubs were later given to the temple, typically when the mothers had been killed by poachers. As of 2006, over ten cubs had been born at the temple and the total number of tigers was about eighteen. They spend most of the time in cages, being fed with dry cat food and cooked chicken to avoid giving them a taste for blood, and washed and handled by monks. Once a day, they are led on leashes to a nearby quarry. Originally they would roam around freely in this area, but now with the increase in tourists will often be chained as they get grumpier in the afternoon. A group of Thai staff and some volunteers lead tourists around by the hand to pose and pat the tigers and taking photographs of them using the tourist's camera, while the abbot and monks keep the tigers happy and under control if they get irritated. Nervous tourists may also observe this from about 10m away. The temple collects donations for feeding and upkeep, and to fund the building of a larger tiger sanctuary which would allow the animals to live in an almost natural environment all day long, with plans to release some of the animals back into the wild. The Tiger Temple practices a different conservation philosophy than in the west. In western zoos and parks, the emphasis is on providing a natural environment for the animals. In the temple, at least until the sanctuary is completed, the animals seem to be treated more as family members. Although it may be possible for the offspring of the current generation to return to the wild, their parents will live out a life of non violence. Their conservation philosophy seems to be working, as while projects elsewhere often need to resort to artificial insemination, over 10 cubs have been born at the temple in the last three years despite having no breeding program what so ever.The temple opens daily for visitors at about 1pm, and the tigers are walked back to their enclosures at around 5pm. Due to the pressing need for income, the temple now charges 300 Baht admission. 7 11 12 42 4/12

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