lft investigates

Tigers Whipped in the Face, Have Lighter Flames Forced Under Their Nostrils for ‘Selfies’ in Thailand

A shocking new Lady Freethinker investigation into Thai zoos – which was covered by The Independent – reveals big cats have lighter flames forced under their nostrils and are chained by the neck and whipped, just so tourists can pose with them in cruel photo ops.

LFT’s investigator visited eleven sites: Tiger World Thailand, Hua Hin Zoo, Tiger Park Pattaya, The Million Years Stone Park, Sriayuthaya Lion Park, Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo, Tiger Kingdom Phuket, Tiger Park Phuket, Tiger Kingdom Chiang Mai, Tiger Topia Sriracha Zoo, and Lopburi Zoo.

The investigator witnessed widespread suffering and extreme abuse at every single site:

  • Handlers forcefully pulled on the nostrils of lions and ligers to make them raise their heads for a photo
  • Tigers had scars on their faces and bodies
  • Big cats appeared skinny and malnourished
  • One tiger’s right eye was severely cloudy and the animal appeared to be blind 
  • Handlers teased the animals by yelling at them and threatening to hit them with sticks before a photoshoot

Widespread Abuse to Tigers and Big Cats

Lady Freethinker Tiger Investigation
Widespread cruelty to big cats was observed at the eleven zoos visited by Lady Freethinker’s investigator, 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.  

Tigers Repeatedly Whipped

Sakrebyle Elephant Camp
At Tiger Topia Sriracha, LFT’s investigator documented tigers with scars being whipped repeatedly with sharp sticks and chained so tightly they could barely move. At the same facility, LFT observed tigers being shoved, grabbed by the tail, and pacing in barren enclosures.   

Lighters Shoved Under Nostrils of Big Cats

LFT Tiger Investigation
At Sriayuthaya Lion Park, handlers used a lit lighter to get tigers to lift their heads by placing the flame under the animals’ noses. Handlers also put their fingers inside the big cats’ nostrils and pulled to get them to lift their heads for a photo.  

Big Cats in Small, Barren Enclosures

Lady Freethinker Tiger investigation
When tigers weren’t posing in photos with people, they were often kept in small, barren enclosures with no enrichment. At Tiger Topia Zoo Sriracha, LFT also observed people shooting pellets at targets in tiger enclosures, and big cats who paced in the concrete enclosures.  

Enough is Enough

LFT Tiger Investigation
Lady Freethinker’s investigation reveals that behind every photo op or selfie with a tiger is a lifetime of deprivation and misery. We’re calling on officials in Thailand to ban forced photo ops with big cats, and we’re reminding the public to never patronize places that exploit these remarkable animals.  Please join us and take action today.

LFT Tigers in Thailand Investigation Images

LFT Tiger Investigation
LFT Tiger Investigation
Tiger being hit in face at Tiger Topia
LFT Tiger Investigation
LFT Tiger Investigation
LFT Tiger Investigation
Lady Freethinker tiger investigation
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