THAI DAYS: Hugh Paxton’s Bog visits the Tiger Temple. Days old tiger cubs dead and frozen

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Hugh Paxton’s Blog visited the Tiger Temple once and immediately felt something was not quite right. It was the entrance. Queues. Busy cash register, OK fair enough. Tigers must eat. And if in captivity must be fed. It was the news letters. Any NGO owes its members and financial contributors a newsletter. Not monthly perhaps. If an organization spends more time on issuing newsletters than actually making news it’s OXFAM. But one a year is a bare minimum. The office had a few. Sort of chucked carelessly on a shelf and they were crumpled, stained with cockroach excrement and three years old. Slovenly display. Written by somebody who cared about tigers. When released, fresh and healthy. Inspiring, I’m sure. But when I saw the filthy things I smelled the reek of decay, disinterest and I thought this place is either too busy to organize itself or is rotten.

I met a few volunteers. Mostly Australian, a few gormless Brit gap years with fresh, awkward, I want my mummy to send me money because I lost it in a brothel faces.

The whole bunch of Tiger Temple volunteers looked as if they’d just married the wrong person. And were trying to convince themselves they hadn’t.

And that everything was going to be OK. I felt sorry for them.

“If they weren’t here, there’d be nowhere for them to go,” explained one really nice guy lying to himself, to his fellow volunteers and to me. None of us were convinced.

But they’d volunteered and if you turned up with youthful enthusiasm at Belsen Buchenwald enticed by the opportunity to play music and then began to suspect you were playing in the band to obscure the sound of gunshots I think you’d postpone thinking about what might really be going on. Partially because you wouldn’t want to admit to everybody you were involved in something bad. And also because your motivations were pure and you can’t quite believe what’s happening. And hope it isn’t.

I met a few of the Temple Tiger monks. I knew exactly what was happening. Organised crime. Highly sophisticated in some respects. Assembling all these tigers. Constructing the place. Exploiting the media to promote it as a haven for endangered species. Utterly fucking arrogant and stupid in others. My first monk had tats, looked like trouble, was smoking and had a tiger on a chain. He knew I wasn’t a volunteer or a tourist. I knew he was a gangster.

OK, I thought. One gangster. Probably flying high on ya ice. With a tiger. This could go badly wrong.

In my experience it often helps to look and behave like a moron. It comes naturally.

“Whoee! Cuddly wuddly, tiger!”

The monk relaxed, ignored his instincts, dismissed me. So I didn’t get my throat slit. And he didn’t get a head butt to the nose and we then didn’t both get into a screaming yelling battle with a tiger. We sat watching tourists and shared a cigarette. There was something about this monk that really impressed me. He was a complete bastard. I don’t think I impressed him.

So that went fairly well.

I couldn’t find a temple.

Lots of tigers. You could stroke them. Get photos taken with them. My daughter did.

You’d think they’d actually build a temple!

They seem quite good at fridges!

From: Brigitte Alpers [mailto:imagine2@iway.na]
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2016 5:28 PM
To: Hugh Paxton; Andre Gast
Subject: FW: Days old tiger cubs dead and frozen

40 dead tiger cubs lay side by side thawing

Save tigers from the Thai temple where 40 frozen dead tiger cubs were found

Sign The Petition
Brigitte,

40 dead tiger cubs lay side by side. Their small bodies thawing after being frozen for an unknown amount of time as reporters gaze on following a raid of Thailand’s Tiger Temple this week.For over a decade, the zoo posed as a sanctuary and Buddhist temple while illegally breeding, brutalizing and selling tigers on the black market. Last week, the Tiger Temple was finally raided and 137 living tigers removed. But only temporarily. Obviously, this temple should not have access to tigers at all.

Add your name to tell the Thai government to ensure no tigers be returned to the Tiger Temple.

The raid came after former workers at the temple confirmed that tigers are forced into tiny concrete enclosures for 20 hours a day, only to be sedated and brought out to pose with tourists for the other 4 hours with no shade or water. Tourists can pay big bucks to walk the tigers, lay with them and help feed them. Former workers confirmed that in addition to sedation, the tigers are also beaten into submission and taunted by the monks that run the place.

But thatâs only the tigers who actually live there. Whatâs more horrifying is that tigers from Tiger Temple are being illegally sold to China for high-end alcohol, home decor, and other status symbols. Itâs likely that the 40 dead tiger cubs found in this weekâs raid were to meet this fate, too.

This inhumane zoo posing as a sanctuary is sickening. Thailand is supposedly a country that leads in tiger conservation efforts, but the fact that the remaining living tigers could go right back to this abusive situation makes that unbelievable, to say the least.

Act now before 137 tigers are sent back to a miserable life of psychological and physical torture. Sign the petition today to urge Thai officials to send the tigers to an actual sanctuary.

Thank you,

Kelsey B.
The Care2 Petitions Team

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2 Responses to “THAI DAYS: Hugh Paxton’s Bog visits the Tiger Temple. Days old tiger cubs dead and frozen”

  1. brigitte alpers Says:

    shu…heavy stuff Hugh. so what now? how do you extinct the gangsters?

    • Hugh Paxton Says:

      Your petition might be a start. The Tiger Temple thrives on tourism. If tourists don’t go it isn’t just income they lose but credibility. Thailand’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism. Why not? A fantastic country to visit! But things like dead tigers, gangs, etc smear the tourism image of the Kingdom. We are rather fortunate in Thailand with our military government. A Fascist dictatorship say some who know little about SE Asia. Bolocks to that say I. If anybody busts these gangsters it will be the army. For most ordinary Thais living in this country life goes on as happily free as before. But tourism is the key button to push. And any letters to the authorities must be couched in very polite, respectful terms.

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