Tiger Kingdom

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.

A tiger in Tiger Kingdom on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. March 14th 2012.

A tiger in Tiger Kingdom on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. March 14, 2012.

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 tigers at Tiger Kingdom are hand reared & very well trained. But they are still wild animals and so need to be respected. The tigers are often playful and may want to play with you. They do play rough though and so could bite when they are playing.

Nice.

Whiskers & teeth. A tiger in Tiger Kingdom on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. March 14th 2012.

Whiskers & teeth. A tiger in Tiger Kingdom on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. March 14, 2012.

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.

A large male tiger sleeping in enclosure at Tiger Kingdom on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. March 14th 2012.

A large male tiger sleeping in an enclosure at Tiger Kingdom on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. March 14, 2012.

I like animals. I like natural history. The travel bit is not the important bit. The travel bit is what you have to do in order to go and look at animals.

– Sir David Attenborough

Tigers in an enclosure at Tiger Kingdom on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. March 14th 2012.

Tigers in an enclosure at Tiger Kingdom on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. March 14, 2012.

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