Contrary to popular belief, the tigers are not declawed at the Temple!
Anatomy of a tiger paw!
Tigers can sheath their claws, which means they are not visible all the time. This helps to protect the claw from wear and tear and means that the claw can maintain a nice sharp point which is necessary for catching and holding onto prey. To keep their claws healthy and sharp, tigers (like house cats) will scratch on trees, tyres etc to remove the old outer layer of claw and make way for the new claw. A lot of people mistakenly believe that because they cannot see the claws of our tigers in every photo, it means we declaw them. This is untrue!! Many places in Thailand, and indeed around the world, do take part in this practice, but at the Temple it is a strict no, and even seen as a form of abuse - when a cat or tiger is declawed it is the equivalent of a human having their top finger joint cut off.
We check the tiger claws regularly to monitor any ingrowing claws but as you can see in the video, they don't like it so much!!