Tiger Kingdom Redux

My girlfriend, Jordyn, joined up for the last month of travels, and she loves cats just like me. We skipped the chained up tigers of Bangkok and went to Phuket’s Tiger Kingdom. It’s the same as Chiang Mai, just more expensive. The tigers were more active down in the islands. Some of them were playing in the water with coconuts. Basically, it’s always a rush to be so close to such a glorious animal, so I was happy to go again.

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Then, on the way home, we spotted a baby elephant by the roadside. Yes, he was chained up (which made us sad) but he was fun and gave us vacuum suction kisses on our cheeks. We fed him bananas and he ate about 10, skin and all. He was a cute lil’ bugga.

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Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai

They are the largest cat in the world. They are indisputably gorgeous. They are also killing machines capable of taking down elephants. They are now being stroked like an indolent kitty in a sunbeam. What a dream come true.

However, I was worried about how these majestic felines would be contained. I’ve heard the stories of drugging or over-punishment upon them, so research was necessary. Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai has a great system, and the animals seem happy. Some cages are still too small, and judging by their bellies, possibly over-fed for safety. But, unlike the Bangkok tiger sanctuary where the cats are kept on chains, these tigers are free to walk around (as long as it’s not in the direction of a visitor). I paid about 45US$ for the full package of tigers–smallest, small, medium and large. The smallest tigers were only 3 months old!

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Such a baby face, full of curiosity. We moved on to the small (5-6 months) and medium next.

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This tiger loved me! He showed me his belly and then started stretching his long legs and giant padded paws all over me just like domestic cats. So amazing to interact with these endangered creatures.

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This was the big girl. Our trainer said she was aggressive.

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My love for cats evinced.

Thank you tigers for making me happy. I hope you are too.

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