VIDEO: Playing with Tigers in Thailand

VIDEO: Playing with Tigers in Thailand

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Playing with Tigers in Thailand

Once we heard that Tiger Kingdom was opening a new location in Phuket, we knew we had to go again. After all, it doesn’t take much to get us out of the house and playing with tigers in Thailand! The Phuket location has tigers that were raised and trained at the Chiang Mai location and they even brought down the trainers to make the tigers as comfortable as possible. It’s always exciting to see animals up close, but Tiger Kingdom takes it to a whole new level, letting you get up close and personal with these beautiful big cats.

playing with tigers in thailandTiger Kingdom Phuket is open daily from 9am-6pm and has a buffet lunch for 550 baht (about $17 USD) which is served from 11am-3pm. If you’re in Phuket, you can ask any Tuk-Tuk or taxi driver to take you to Tiger Kingdom and they’ll know exactly where to go. Although they wont let you in if you have been drinking, they is a bar on site in case you need a drink to celebrate conquering your fears or to just calm your nerves after playing with tigers!

Prices start at 800 baht (about $25 USD) to play with just the largest tigers and the complete package goes all the way up to 3,500 baht (about $111 USD) to play with all age groups and includes a photographer who will give you 50-70 pictures from your time there. You can add a photographer to any package or age group for an additional 500 baht (about $15 USD).

Watch our video about our trip and to learn about how it works!

http://www.tigerkingdom.com

 

**NOTE: In no way do we condone the mistreatment, drugging, or general abuse of animals in any setting or in any country. That said, the rights of animals in Thailand are less supported than in many other more developed countries world wide and many animal activities in Phuket greatly lack general welfare of the animals, with many veering straight into neglect and abuse. Phuket is run by tourism and if people want to pay to play with tigers someone will give them that opportunity. We highlight Tiger Kingdom as one of the most humane places to interact with animals in Phuket that we have found. While not perfect, the animals are well taken care of and loved. We give the above information not as a statement of fact but as an opinion of the experience as it presented itself to us, so that you the viewer, can make your own ethical and moral decision if you would like to visit.

13 COMMENTS

  1. The money spent for entry and to spend time with this big cat could be better spent on real conservationism. My worry is where these tigers come from. I hope it isn’t fuelling animal trafficking. Why don’t you guys spend a day with a conservation group in Thailand and write about that. You have a unique opportunity, dont waste it on businesses out to profit from animals with no consideration for the bigger picture. One day tiger petting zoos may be all that’s left of Thailand’s tiger population.

    • Cat – We completely understand your point of view and in no way condone the abuse or mistreatment of any animals. Being that we are in Phuket, we are simply highlighting the tourist attractions as honestly as we can in an effort to educate people about what they can expect and whether or not they would like to visit. We took great care before and during our visit to Tiger Kingdom to speak with their staff, hear from their founder and determine that while this was in no way a perfect situation for the animals, they were being very well cared for by loving and lifelong caretakers and in a clean and healthy environment. Since visiting we have requested, and been granted access, the return to film a behind the scenes video, showing more in depth footage of the animals living quarters and what goes into taking care of them. We have highlighted other animals conservation groups here in Phuket, as we showed in our post about the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, and we have not highlighted any elephant trek, snake or bird shows yet as we have not come across any that even do a half decent job at treating the animals right.

  2. I like the look of your blog, however your promotion of this notorious tiger petting place frustrated me immensely, like the comment above says, it would be so much better if you focused and promoted the conservation of these and other creatures that Thailands endless pursuit of tourism has destroyed, especially in hideously over developed spots like Phuket. It is so ignorant to think that a tourist like your self would see any signs of drugging, beatings or other of the reported abuse that these animals have suffered in order to be ‘trained’. You should focus on schemes like http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/ in the north who are doing something worthwhile.

    • Ed, thank you for your comment and your thoughts, they are much appreciated. We did a lot of research before our visit to both Tiger Kingdom in Chiangmai and Phuket. We spoke with the founders, directors and took a complete behind the scenes tour of the facilities. We took time to speak in depth with the trainers who have worked with the same tigers their entires lives, many of which relocate to wherever the tiger is living. We have also written about and featured stories on other animal conservation projects in Phuket, such as the Gibbon Sanctuary. We have yet to highlight an article or video on any elephant camp as the only locations we have visited have done a poor job taking care of the animals, although we are very much looking forward to visiting some of the high quality elephant camps in the north of the country.

      We understand the passion of animal rights activists and ourselves love animals and take part in Phuket organizations to help them, especially the street dogs and cats (stories which we have highlighted as well.) Unfortunately in Thailand, animal rights laws are not as current as in many places in the world. We took the time to research Tiger Kingdom and to highlight it on our blog in the most honest way possible, and to make sure that the animals were well taken care of, well fed and in clean, sterile environments. Is it the perfect situation? Of course not. Would we like to see all tigers living in the wild? Of course we would. The simple matter of the fact is that in Thailand if someone wants to play with a tiger, a business will figure out a way to offer that service. We simply wanted to take the time to see for ourselves, share the information and let our readers chose for themselves if they wanted to visit or not.

  3. […] No trip to Africa is complete without setting out on a safari and doing your best to track, spot, view and be amazed by the wild animals you will find there. Think that tigers can be spotted on a trip to Africa? Think again! Not native to Africa, tigers are not one of the Big 5, but if you are on a trip to Asia you can sure find them and if you are lucky, might end up playing with tigers in Thailand. […]

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