PETITION TARGET: Thailand Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Ministry of Public Health
A new Lady Freethinker (LFT) investigation into zoos in Thailand has documented big cats who were tightly chained by their necks to concrete slabs, whipped repeatedly, and had lighter flames forced under their nostrils so the animals would pose in cruel, forced photo opportunities for visitors.
LFT’s investigator visited 11 zoos in Thailand and uncovered widespread cruelty to big cats at each one, including distressed tigers pacing back and forth in barren, concrete enclosures with murky green water, and lions and ligers chained to the ground, cowering when handlers raised their fists.
LFT’s investigator also documented tigers with scars being whipped repeatedly with sharp sticks and chained so tightly they could barely move at Tiger Topia Zoo Sri Racha. LFT also observed people shooting pellets at targets in tiger enclosures, and big cats who paced in concrete pens.
At Tiger Kingdom in Phuket, which made headlines after a tiger attack hospitalized a tourist, LFT’s investigator observed very young children in direct contact with tigers.
Handlers forcefully pulled on the nostrils of lions and ligers to make them raise their heads for photos at Sriayuthaya Lion Park. In some cases, LFT observed handlers also putting lighter flames under their noses. Handlers also used sharpened sticks to poke the animals.
LFT’s investigator repeatedly saw tigers with scars on their faces and bodies and big cats who appeared skinny or malnourished languishing in cages. At Tiger Kingdom, the investigator also documented one tiger who appeared to be blind and had a severely cloudy right eye.
Tigers are exceptional animals who are protective mothers and who enjoy bathing in streams, rivers, and ponds. Lions are courageous and social, being the only big cats known to live in family groups called “prides.” These remarkable beings deserve better.
Sign our petition today urging Thai authorities to immediately ban forced photo ops with big cats and share this petition with your friends and family.
And please remember to never patronize places that exploit big cats – or any animal – for entertainment.