Tourist rushed to hospital after being mauled a Tiger Kingdom
Another incident at a tiger ‘attraction’ in Thailand. We would urge anyone visiting places where tourists can mix freely with tigers to consider the welfare of the tigers, and also to consider their own safety.
A tourist suffered stomach and leg injuries when he was mauled by a tiger at a wildlife park in Thailand after stepping inside the fearsome predator’s cage to pet it.
Australian Paul Goudie was dragged to safety by park attendants at Tiger Kingdom in Phuket after the ferocious attack by the big cat.
The 49-year-old from Melbourne suffered stomach and leg injuries and was taken to hospital for emergency treatment, reports the Telegraph.
Opened in August 2013, the park allows visitors to enter tiger enclosures, pose for photos and feed bottles to big cat cubs.
Before entering the concrete pens, guests are required to remove all loose belongings, including shoes, wash their hands and sign a waiver absolving Tiger Kingdom of any responsibility in the event of an accident.
Despite safety concerns, Thailand’s tiger parks, which allow visitors to play, stroke and pet the big cats, have grown in popularity in recent years.
There have, however, been several attacks, some fatal, on tourists by the so-called ‘tame’ tigers.
Last year, British student Isabelle Brennan, 19, was left scarred for life after a 400lbs tiger knocked her to the ground and bit through her thigh at the Tiger Temple park in the Kanchanaburi district.
In 2011, a Thai woman suffered severe head and arm injuries after she was mauled by a tiger at the Million Year Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm in East Pattaya.
While in 2009, a woman from New Zealand was left hospitalised for weeks after touching a tiger’s head at the Khumsu Chiang Mai Tiger Centre, in the north of Thailand.
Animal welfare groups have also called for an end to the controversial attractions.
In the past, Care for the Wild has uncovered evidence of their involvement in the trafficking of endangered animals, illegal breeding and the mistreatment of tigers.
Critics also allege that the animals are drugged to keep them docile.
Phuket locals were dismayed by the news but would only speak anonymously, concerned by rumours of Tiger Kingdom’s connections to the island’s mafia families.
One four-year resident told The Telegraph: “The news of the mauling is shocking but not surprising. These are wild animals, they’re not meant to be caged and cuddled.
“I feel sympathy for the man in question but I don’t understand why tourists think it’s safe to pose for Facebook photos with wild animals in the first place.”
Tiger Kingdom declined to comment on the incident.
Read Care for the Wild’s latest Tiger Temple report, Temple of Lies
Read the original story on Daily Mirror.com