Should You Visit Tiger Kingdom? – Chiang Mai, Thailand

The truth about Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai has been blurred by the judgmental wails of the internet. The reality is that Tiger Kingdom is a tourist attraction in Thailand where you pay to spend time with a live tiger. Should you visit Tiger Kingdom? Absolutely. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. That is all.

Is it safe to pet a tiger?

No. You will be told not to touch the tigers head or paws.

Are the tigers in Tiger Kingdom drugged?

No. This is a lie that has been circulating for years. The tigers are constantly exposed to humans from the moment they are born and as the tigers get older and become more unruly they removed from the “in cage experience”. I actually saw two young tigers fight while I was there.

Are the tigers in Tiger Kingdom abused?

No. The stick that the trainers hold is a toy. They use it to entice the tigers to move. Tiger Kingdom is not Tiger Temple.

What’s Tiger Temple?

Tiger Temple was a temple in Kanchanaburi where monks would interact with the tigers. There was a famous police raid on the temple that revealed a poaching operation tied to donations. They are totally separate.

Newborn White Tiger – Tiger Kingdom, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Are the tigers in Tiger Kingdom bred in captivity?

Every tiger that you can get in a cage with is bred in captivity and hand reared.  I saw a newborn white tiger that was absolutely gorgeous.

What quality of life do tigers enjoy at Tiger Kingdom?

Tigers are endangered species and the treatment of tigers is regulated and policed in Thailand. These animals are held in enclosures almost identical to zoos and Tiger Kingdom has animal sharing agreement with other zoos. This is a petting zoo for tigers. It’s something that I can’t imagine existing outside Thailand.

How do I know if all of this is true?

There have been detailed accounts published by employees, the Thai government and western volunteers that unanimously agree.

Why does the internet hate Tiger Kingdom?

Animal conservation is driven by economic realities. If you want to prevent endangered species from going extinct you have to make the animals more valuable alive than dead. Assigning value to animals is a harsh solution that rubs people the wrong way.

How do I get to Tiger Kingdom?

I visited the Chiang Mai location and hired a private car to get to the park (not recommended). If you’re visiting with a family take a taxi and pay him to wait. Backpackers should take the songtao and make some new friends.

How much does Tiger Kingdom cost?

Prices range from 500-1300 baht depending on the size of the tiger.

Are there any requirements to get in the cage?

Their website lists height and age requirements depending on the size of the cat but it’s Thailand so yeah.

Final Thoughts

There are petting zoos and aquariums all over the world that let people touch their animals. The vast majority don’t let visitors interact with apex predators because it’s dangerous and expensive for them if you get hurt. Don’t get in the cage if you’re scared of the tiger.

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