Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Tigers and Elephants and Snakes, oh my!

Turns out my friend Gwen has no fear and will try just about anything once. VERY good quality in a travel companion. After I shot this pic, she actually held the snake. Me? Notsomuch.

Elephants are considered good luck in Thailand and we came upon this cutie-pie - by the side of the road! Our next stop was the Tiger Temple in Saiyok. It is a Buddhist temple, as well as an animal sanctuary. In the late '90s, someone gave the monks a tiger cub they found, and their collection of tigers grew from there. The tigers have either been orphaned or abandoned, and now the monks employ a vet staff that breed tigers. The monks take an active role in the tiger's lives and the head monk actually names each cub.

Once inside the temple grounds, it becomes a very spiritual place, as the first thing you notice is the almost absolute quiet. There is a stillness to the compound that is only broken by playful tigers.

Any person visiting the temple can choose, for a small fee, to either play with young tigers (10-12 months) or feed baby tigers (2-3 months). Gwen, my fearless companion, jumped at the chance to tussle with young tigers who looked like this: Me? I like my tigers tiny, thankyouverymuch. So into the cage I bravely went to play with and feed bottles to the most amazing creatures. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

1 comment:

  1. Gwen is crazy, which is why we love her! I would've gone with you and fed the baby cubs. They are just too cute! What an awesome time!