During our stay in Chiang Mai Joe and I decided to visit the Tiger Kingdom. We spent a lot of time prior to our visit deciding weather or not we wanted to give money to this kind of establishment; it is by no means an exercise in conservation, and makes no claim to be.
The Tigers here are raised by hand in captivity, so are brought up with humans, and trained to be docile.
There has been much debate online as to the humanity of this kind of place, but as far as I can tell, the evidence of mistreatment and drugging pertains to the Tiger Temple near Bangkok, and whilst the Tiger Kingdom is by no means a PETA approved attraction, no one seems to have been able to provide any evidence that the tigers there are mistreated.
The pull of baby tigers was too strong, and we decided to go for it.
Having breakfasted on 7eleven snacks (saving our pennies), we took a songthew from the center of town out to the Tiger Kingdom- about half an hour from memory, but time flies when your enjoying exotic views of Thailand!
We struggled before we went to find any information about prices for the kingdom (everything we read just explained that you pay based on the number of tigers that you wanna see - yes, we knew that!) So, for those that are wondering, we paid 1260 bhat (!!) to play with the babies, the 'small' tigers, and the biggest.
The babies absolutely adored Joe - as all animals seem to - we think its because they like that he doesn't try and smush them like I do..
Either way, those guys loved him, and I was sad.. :(
Apparently this guy was classed as 'small'.
I can promise you he did not seem small from where I was sitting..!
Whilst many of the tigers we saw that day were enjoying a nap in the midday heat, those that were awake seemed very with it (and not at all drugged). That guy on the left up there had an absolute ball chasing a big stick - very reminiscent of out little house cat, and the stick she used to chase.. but ya know, a tiger rather than a kitten.. same same.
Somehow between visiting the 'small' and the biggest tigers, I managed to fall over -whilst standing completely still- and graze both my knees! But I put on a brave face - I didn't want the tigers to smell my fear and attack. Or is that sharks..
The Tiger Kingdom was the last (I think) of our controversial adventures, and whilst I wouldn't recommend going without doing your own research first, I can say with confidence that we enjoyed our experience, and would probably make the same decision to go if faced with it again.
yay for baby tigers!! 🐯 🐆 🐾