How many people can say they have stroked a tiger or played with a tiger cub?! Seeing these magnificent beasts will probably be one of the most memorable things we will do in our whole lives!
The sanctuary that we went to is called Tiger Kingdom and it seemed to be a really nice environment. Or as nice as it can be for a wild animal! The one thing I was worried about was the tigers being mistreated or drugged, as this is a big problem in Thailand. Some places drug the tigers to sedate them, which obviously makes them less dangerous but its extremely cruel and inhumane. Tiger Kingdom is adamant that they don’t drug the tigers or hurt them, they are just tame due to the high exposure to humans. I’m not an expert but the tigers were so playful that I don’t believe they were drugged. Some of them were sleeping, but they are nocturnal so its to be expected especially in the older tigers!
When you enter the park initially you pick a package as to what size tigers you would like to visit. We picked the Big Cats, the small 1year olds and the smallest 2-3 month old cubs! We visited the full-size adult tigers first, they actually range from 13-30 month old, the park don’t allow visitors to see the older ones as they are more unpredictable. Going in the cage with these monstrous man-eaters was pretty scary to say the least! Every movement of theirs had us flinching away, as of course you never forget that if they so wished they could tear you limb from limb very easily! Luckily nothing of the sort happened, we managed to get some lovely pictures of us up close and personal.
After that we went down in size order and saw the small 1 year old cubs, although to be honest they were still the size of a big dog but with all the playfulness of a puppy! One of them in particular was very cute, he was playing with a coconut and chasing after tree branches! He didn’t seem to want to get a photo with us anyway, he was too busy having fun!
Of course we saved the best until last and went and saw the smallest little cubs! They were absolutely the most adorable creatures I have ever seen! They have the personalities of little newborn kittens, running around after everything and play fighting with the other cubs, yet they are about the size of a small dog! Of course getting these mischievous little scamps to stay put for photos was never going to happen although we did manage to get a couple! Although the cubs were very small they still had a lot of power behind them, I was playing with a 5 month old cub who was just a bit bigger than the others and when he was jumping up to grab the branch I was a little scared! Especially when I stupidly held it in front of myself and he came to pounce towards me, my heart was in my mouth!
After seeing the cubs we went to have a look around at some of the other enclosures, we had a little peak at the newborns who were so tiny! Obviously we weren’t allowed to get close to them but just seeing them was enough. Strangely enough there was also one Lion which the park had rescued as well, although he was enjoying a good old nap!