(ANIMAL WELFARE) Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, is home to around 100 tigers who share their space with Buddhist monks. However, the center has become an issue for wildlife activists who claim it is an illegal breeding facility and that the tigers are not sufficiently cared for. Photographs from the temple are worrisome as they picture the tigers chained up. The temple is also said to be a tourist attraction where visitors can pay to take a picture with the tigers. Read on to learn more about this questionable facility. — Global Animal
Daily Mail, Steve Robson
When temperatures reaching a stifling 37 degrees, even these well-adapted tigers need to find a way of escaping the heat.
The beautiful big cats are pictured at the controversial Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, where around 100 live alongside Buddhist monks.
Many were brought to the reserve as cubs and have grown up around humans. But even so these pictures show just how remarkably close these fearsome creatures can get to their keepers.
An adult tiger is, at first, sprawled out on the ground sunbathing, but then cuddles up close to one of his fellow residents in the shade.
Elsewhere, a young tiger was spotted happily playing around in a pool of water with a fascinating new toy.
Along with soaring temperatures, the humidity in Thailand can reach an exhausting 90 per cent in the summer months.
Founded in 1994, the Tiger Temple has attracted criticism from some wildlife groups who claim it is an illegal breeding facility and that the tigers are not sufficiently cared for.
The first cub arrived in 1999 after her mother was killed by poachers nearby.
She died, but others have since arrived and the tiger population has gradually grown. The centre has become a tourist attraction where visitors can pay a fee to have their picture taken alongside the animals.
The organistion insists that it is a legitimate conservation centre, that the animals are well-cared for and that the aim is to release them back into the wild in the future.