Target: Expedia Chairman and Senior Executive Barry Diller
Goal: Remove abusive tiger attraction from itineraries
Tiger Temple, found in Thailand, is a tourist attraction that boasts love and commitment to the dwindling tiger species. Tourists can get their pictures taken with the tigers for a small fee. For a little more money a person can even sit on one of the tigers for a photo. Unfortunately, the Tiger Temple cannot live up to the standard it has set for itself. The tigers there are abused and depressed, forced to live their lives in this unnatural setting.
The tigers that reside at Tiger Temple are chained, hit with sticks, sprayed with tiger urine and pulled around by their tails. The monks that own them do not coexist peacefully with these animals; they establish fear through mistreatment. The temple claims that it is an animal sanctuary, though this cannot be so. The international sanctuary regulations prohibit breeding of the animals unless it is a specialist program. There are over 100 tigers residing at the sanctuary; many were poached from the wild, but most were born at Tiger Temple. The Temple has also been cited previously for illegal trafficking across the Thailand border. This is not a movement to help the tiger species thrive; this is a solely for-profit, selfish operation.
Many travel sites, including Frontier and Jet Star, upon learning the truth about Tiger Temple, have taken Tiger Temple off of their itineraries and no longer advertise for this cruel attraction. Expedia, however, still has Tiger Temple listed on two of its itineraries for Thailand, and presents Tiger Temple in a positive light.
There are only 3500 tigers left on our planet. The world needs people who are serious about helping the species thrive, not a group of abusive individuals who are using tigers to earn a living. Tiger Temple provides a terrible existence for tigers and should not be advertised. Urge Expedia to join other travel sites and remove Tiger Temple from its itineraries, and to instead encourage people to give their money to reputable tiger rehabilitation movements.
Dear Barry Diller,
There are two itineraries that you offer on your website that include a trip to Tiger Temple, Thailand. Your description of Tiger Temple makes it out to be a positive place, where tigers and man peacefully coexist. The men are described as committed to preserving the endangered species and rehabilitating other animals in need. While I understand that, when presented in this light, Tiger Temple seems the perfect place to get up close and personal with a dangerous animal. I must urge you to reconsider your stance and remove Tiger Temple from these itineraries.
Tiger Temple has been cited for illegal trafficking of tigers across the Thailand border. Tiger Temple does not rehabilitate tigers. It poaches from the wild and illegally breeds the tigers on site, instilling them with fear from birth. The Buddhist men who keep the tigers there are cruel and abusive, using methods such as spraying the big cats with their own urine and pulling them across the floor by their tails. They hit them with sticks to get them to behave and chain them up for their entire lives. The tiger’s diets are unnatural scraps and dog food, and they are forced to accommodate humans, which is most unnatural. The Buddhist men are only interested in the profit they are making from these animals, not in helping them back into the wild.
Other travel industries–STA Travel, Frontier and Jet Star–have removed Tiger Temple from their itineraries after learning the truth about the cruelty. I urge you to make the right decision and remove Tiger Temple from your Thailand itineraries. This cruelty should not be advertised. Please encourage your customers to give their money to a tiger sanctuary that helps the species, not to a business that enslaves them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Doug Beckers via Flickr