During our trip to Chiang Mai Thailand we went to Tiger Kingdom. It was such a surreal and exciting experience. Basically what you do is look at the packages on offer, make a booking and receive a ticket, pay at the counter and then wait to be called up. Strategically for the attraction park, the baby lions are the most expensive and they get cheaper as the tigers get bigger. We bought tickets to see the full grown tigers, which was amazing.
The tigers were all so sleepy and calm. At first I was reluctant to contribute to the attraction but it all worked out in the end. Sometimes I question and think about the negative possibilities of everything, it's like looking for the worst in everything and everyone. I was really skeptical about the treatment of the tigers here and whether or not they use drugs or tranquillizers to make the tigers suitable for human interaction. I thought this because the tigers were really sleepy, slow and they were just ambling around. I read a fact sheet of Tiger Kingdom stuck on the wall and it was listing out informations about tigers in general and the ones they breed and the treatment of them. The notice wrote that there was no use of drugs or tranquillizers used on the tigers. It was also explaining that the reason why the tigers were so sleepy was because of the Thai weather, which can be extremely draining of energy especially with their thick coats and the fact that they are mostly nocturnal. The tigers are also calm and docile because they have been brought up like that. They can't exist in the wild because they've adapted to the human interventions at Tiger Kingdom. Another interesting thing the poster pointed out was that the trainers often disturb the tigers sleep when tourists have their turn to interact with them. They do this because it makes the customer happy which in turn produces funding for the attraction and the tigers wellbeing.
The tigers were absolutely beautiful! Their coats were surreal and their presence was so distinct. The trainer who brought us inside the enclosure was a lovely man. He was really talkative and told us information about the tigers. In total we got to stroke three beautiful tigers, one female and two male. They were all named after elements of nature in Thai like wind and lightning, which I thought was so beautiful. All three of us were rather tentative compared to previous guests as the trainer kept urging us to lie next to the tiger and hug her. He demonstrated it for us too!
It was like petting a very large sleeping dog to be honest, although there was that constant thought in the back of my mind, 'This tiger could totally rip my hand apart and kill me.'. The males were bigger than the female tiger we visited, and rather chunky, if that makes sense? They were really solid and muscular. While stroking one of the male tigers, there was an ant on his fur and he whipped it with his tail which scared me so much! They are so beautiful!