Q1) How many tigers are at the temple?
A1) There are 17 tigers at the temple. Seven were orphans rescued from the wild and ten have been breed and born here at the temple. (information as of December 2005)
Q2) How did the temple come to have tigers?
A2) Local people intercepted cubs, whose mothers were killed from poachers brought them to the temple. The Abbot took them in when no-one else would and cares for them as his sons and daughters.
Q3) What kind of tigers are these?
A3) They are Indo-Chinese tigers and they are native to Thailand , Laos , Burma , Cambodia , Vietnam Malaysia and Southeast China.
Q4) How is it that they are so calm?
A4) They have been hand-reared with compassion by the monks and have had interaction since they were young cubs. So they have imprinted on humans and have accepted us part of their lives. They are also use to people coming to the temple and having photos with as it is a daily routine.
Q5) Are the tigers sedated or drugged in anyway?
A5) No, they are not drugged. Tigers are nocturnal animals, so they sleep during the heat of the day. The tiger’s eyes are better adapted to lower light levels than their prey species, so they can surprise their prey with greater ability in darkness. This means they are more active and hunt at night. Adult tigers are naturally lazier, whereas the cubs are more active and will play if it is not too hot. A wild animal that has been sedated is more dangerous because they become disorientated with their surroundings and everything around them becomes a threat. This brings out their wild instincts and they are more likely to attack.
Q6) Has anyone ever been attacked by the tigers?
A6) No. No-one has ever been attacked by the tigers. The monks and Tiger Temple staff have very good control over the tigers and can read their behaviour extremely well. The tiger handlers get the occasional scratch while playing with the cubs but nothing serious has ever happen at the temple.
Q7) So they don’t ever get angry or aggressive?
A7) Like any animal, including humans, they have their moments when they do not want to do something and have a growl. But this is just a warning that they are not happy with the situation and when you stop they are happy to get a pat. There has been no real aggression against anyone.
Q8) What do the tigers eat?
A8) Whole chicken, beef and dried cat food. The meat is cooked due to the Asian bird flu and so the tigers do not get the taste of blood and associate blood with food. The dried cat food replaces the nutrients lost from the meat during the cooking process.
Q9) Will they ever be released back into the wild?
A9) No. Not this generation because they cannot hunt and feed themselves. Also they are too familiar with humans. The tiger in the wild is very secretive and fearful but these have no fear of humans. The next generation will be released back to the wild, onto a reserve. They will have little human contact. They will be trained to hunt and feed themselves on the ‘ Tiger Island ’, currently under construction and then released back into the wild.
" Tigers arrived here for loving cure and care,
and the monks here have fulfilled this need.
Do we come here to view them,
is only the happiness that we feel?
Your donation of whatever amount is like
the bricks piling for building their NEW HOME.
You will be proud that you are a part of their
happiness in return."
"Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno Forest Monastery"