Authors: Erik Cohen
Addresses: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
Abstract: This reconstructed anthropological case study of the prolonged struggle of the Thai authorities and animal rights and welfare activists against the Tiger Temple, focuses on the successful closure of the Temple's tiger displays, the removal of the tigers into government facilities, and the Temple's attempt to reincarnate its tiger displays in a formally separate tiger zoo. The paper concludes that the manner in which the authorities handled the process, eventuated in undesired consequences for all participants: though the Temple was granted a license for its zoo, it remained without its tigers; the removal burdened the authorities with the care for the relocated animals; and the tigers suffered a reduction in their welfare conditions. The article highlights the need to pay increased attention to the neglected problem of the level of welfare of wild animals after they have been released from the clutch of traffickers or from animal entertainment facilities.
Keywords: tourist-animal interaction; Tiger Temple; Thai Department of National Parks; DNP; tiger shows; tiger trafficking; animal welfare; Thailand.
International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 2019 Vol.7 No.2, pp.115 - 131
Received: 04 Jul 2018
Accepted: 04 Oct 2018
Published online: 25 Jul 2019 *