FOLLOW THE TIGERS: UPGRADES GALORE!
Today we visited both of the facilities where the confiscated tigers from Tiger Temple are being kept. These visits were to discuss, and put in motion, the plans for the next upgrades for the different areas. Both of the facilities are building ten new enclosures of roughly 10x20m, but they need furnishings and additional items to improve the areas for the tigers. Today we're going to give you a quick run through of what's already been done, and what's coming up!
Facility One - Khao Son
Enclosures - the ten enclosures are still under construction, however, all of them have had the trees planted to give them time to start growing. One of the enclosures has also had some grass seed sown in order to see how fast, and covering it is (check out the pics below!)
Ponds - our previous post on this we said the ponds would be 1.5 x 2m at a cost of 1800THB, but after further discussions and measurements of the enclosures, we have decided to enlarge these to 3 x 3m. As yet, we do not know the additional cost. The ponds are also going to be delayed for the moment in this facility as the enclosures are not yet finished and two working teams will get in each other's way! Therefore the ponds will only be built once the enclosures are completely finished.
Extensions - 24 of the 29 Tiger Temple tigers residing in this facility have the chance to move to these enclosures once they are finished (though we do not know which lucky 20 of these 24 will get these enclosures. The last 5 - Big Mek, Apo, Angkor, Solo and Girl Farmi, all live in a separate area and are having their own upgrades. Currently they are five tigers in ten cages and so these cages are now going to be joined together so that each tiger will have access to a second cage, thus doubling their living space. We will also be building ponds in these extended areas too. Big Mek already has his, though he does need a new platform!!
Labour - we will also be looking into paying for the labour costs on top of donating the materials for the ponds. This is because there is need of an additional work team to manage all the extra projects.
In previous years, this was the facility that we built the six enclosures from scratch. It's also the facility where we had previously discussed upgrading the old concrete-floored cages with higher platforms and sandpits.
Enclosures - there are also ten enclosures being built here, and these too are still under construction. However, these enclosures were built around pre-existing trees, which meant we don't have to provide shade!
Ponds - We will be helping to fund the ponds in these enclosures. As you can see in the pics (check above!), the foundations for these large ponds are already in place. These ponds are placed at the entrance to encourage the tiger to instantly wade through the water. There will be a log bridge over too, just in case the tigers don't want to get wet.
Extensions - here too the cages will be knocked through to make larger areas. The big project is going to be the old style concrete-floored cages we were previously going to upgrade with the platforms and sandpit. This will still go ahead but on a slightly grander scale. Have a look at the photo below; each tiger will now get access to two cages, one of which will be a giant sandpit - the entire floor covered with this more appropriate substrate. The existing concrete platforms will be covered with wooden planks and the ponds will be enlarged. By giving the tigers access to two cages, their living space is doubled to roughly 8 x 10m. We are waiting for the final cost of this set of upgrades and will only be doing one cage initially to test it out.
Labour - Again, we will be paying for an additional worker team to come in and work on this project. Currently, labour costs are estimated at 1400THB per day, covering the wages of three workers.
With all this going on, the tigers need your support more than ever. Especially as the upgrades for the old style cages in Facility Two will begin tomorrow! If you would like to help out, you can donate here, or alternatively, buy a great t-shirt with proceeds going to For Tigers.
We really appreciate everyone staying with us on this journey to improve the lives of the Tiger Temple tigers.