As 2018 draws to a close it’s time we look back on our work throughout the year.
Though we have been working towards improving the lives of the relocated Tiger Temple tigers since 2016, we only became registered as a charity in January of this year. Once registered, our ability to provide direct aid, perform research and provide public education has greatly increased. At this time we are still only a very small team so making big changes is somewhat out of reach for us. Nevertheless we have still accomplished a few things in this first year.
In April we completed the second year of our welfare assessments of public captive tiger facilities around Thailand. We also visited the Tiger Temple tigers providing six months of carnivore supplement, enrichment items and assessed the progress of the two tiger enclosures currently being built. These were then finished in May allowing more of the tigers access to outside areas.
Tiger Day on July 29th was the release of “Unchaining Tiger Tourism,” our first report on the situation of Thailand’s captive tigers, detailing information about the facilities and how tourists can learn to avoid facilities offering tiger selfies and poor welfare standards. Shortly after this we had our inaugural Walk For Tigers raising over £2000.
Throughout the year we also attended various conferences and symposiums including the Tourism and Animal Welfare symposium in London, the World Association for Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in Bangkok and the South East Asia Zoo Association (SEAZA) in Chiang Mai. All of these provided us with information to further our mission as well as providing links and potential collaborations in the coming years. The SEAZA conference proved particularly exciting as it marked the beginning of their welfare certification, due to begin implementation next year across a number of South East Asia’s zoos.
Our year ended with an invitation to participate in the new Keeper for a Day programme run by Tiger Kingdom in their new education facility. This programme provides a hands-off approach towards tourist interaction with tigers, the first programme of this kind in Thailand, and aims to remove the tiger selfie programme from Tiger Kingdom facilities. A final visit to the Department of National Parks (DNP) to see the Tiger Temple tigers was bittersweet; more tigers had died but, for the most part, the remaining tigers are improving in health. Once again we delivered six months worth of carnivore supplement and discussed further plans.
Though we have seen a lot of poor captive tiger welfare in Thailand, there are still improvements in some areas. As 2019 rolls around we will continue our facility assessments giving each a welfare scoring so that potential visitors can make an educated decision on whether to visit. We will continue providing aid to the Tiger Temple tigers through provision of enrichment, supplement and fundraising for further enclosures. We also look forward to some potential collaborations in the future, combining forces to create a difference in the lives of Thailand's captive tigers.
Thank you all for your continued support, let's make 2019 bigger and better!