Sharing An Enclosure With Adult Tigers And Living To Tell The Tale
Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai, Thailand. March 14, 2012
My visit today to Tiger Kingdom on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, was awesome. The tigers, big & small, young & old, male & female, were amazing. Truly a-maz-ing. Stunningly beautiful creatures.
I stumped-up the guts of €10 to spend about 10-15 minutes in an enclosure with 5 adult tigers (1 male, 4 females) & twice as many handlers armed with nothing more than verbal commands & little bamboo sticks. Help, just in case. Rumours abound that the tigers are sedated to allow snap-happy, clueless foreigners like me to pet them without losing a limb (or worse). Not true; the tigers are born in the sanctuary, hand reared and are thus, unlike their brethren in the wild, accustomed to human interaction. That said, you still have to sign your life away before you hand over any cash & climb into an enclosure with them, and just before you do you’re presented with the following heads-up in respect to the question, do the tigers bite?
The pictures shown here are a selection of the images I captured during the 40 minutes or so I spent ogling at tigers, both from inside & outside of their enclosures. It was an amazing experience and I was in awe of the big cats. Ironic, considering I’m not overly fond of the little ones.
– Sir David Attenborough