Thursday, December 18, 2008

Monks and their tiger pets

A Buddhist temple in Thailand is not just the home to monks, it is also the home of many tigers.

They call it the Tiger Temple, and its story is the stuff of fairy tales. According to Abbot Pra-Acharn Phusit, a tiger cub orphaned by poachers was brought to the temple years ago.

The abbot cared for her and, as word spread, more people brought sickly and orphaned cubs to the temple's doorstep. Those cubs went on to have their own cubs, and nine years on there are now 34 tigers living here.

Buddhists believe in reincarnation and the abbot also that these tigers are his family.

The temple is also a tourist spot and tourists can not only look at the tigers but can also get up close with them. Tourists like that, animal activists, not too much.

The tigers have yet to bite anyones head off.

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