The warning signs have been around for a very long time. Responsible Travel has been campaigning for its closure for years, Born Free and other NGO’s have been screaming out to people to stop going. There are even films on YouTube showing tigers being hit so what went wrong, why did it stay open for so long? Why are we all surprised that 40 dead cubs were found in the freezer when the National Geographic linked it to a black market trade?
In some ways I think its selective ignorance; people do have a strange desire to get as close as possible to animals and you couldn’t get much closer than the Tiger Temple! So its criticisms were taken as hearsay. But, I do not blame tourists, I do partly blame the tiger temple itself as many papers are highlighting today. I think the ones who are to blame and share most of the responsibility are the travel companies supplying the temple with tourists.
Holidays to the tiger temple were still offered even after the warning signs. Of course, these have now been quickly removed but TripAdvisor is still proudly showing the best hotels for the Tiger Temple. Travel companies can easily slip into the shadows and delete all traces letting the attraction take the beating for things like this. But if the newspapers were to report the holiday companies that visited the Tiger Temple would this create an air of caution and stronger ethical considerations? If we do not want to see an event like this again should we start shifting the blame……..