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Paul Goudie with son Jake after being mauled by a tiger on Phuket

I Whacked Tiger, Says Mauled Tourist

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
PHUKET: Australian truck driver Paul Goudie has quite a story to tell about his Phuket holiday. ''I was mauled by a tiger,'' he said from his hospital bed today.

The 49-year-old from near Melbourne was relaxed about the incident, possibly because morphine was killing the pain.

He loves tigers, and he has a tiger tattoo on his left shoulder to prove it.

One tiger at the Tiger Kingdom tourist park on Phuket did not love him back yesterday, though, when he sustained bites to both legs and his stomach.

His son Jake was in the family holiday group that went to the facility in central Phuket yesterday, but like most of the others, did not venture into the cage with the tigers.

His father did. ''We did everything as the park people advised,'' Paul said today from his bed. ''I am not sure why it bit me.

''When it did, I had no choice except to whack it in the face a couple of times.''

Jake was not aware what had happened until he heard his father's loud voice and knew something was up.

''It all happened very quickly,'' he said. ''Luckily, there was a doctor among the other tourists visiting Tiger Kingdom.''

Jake said the staff at the facility used a taser to subdue the tiger. His father was quickly on his way to a hospital in nearby Phuket City.

Paul said: ''The handler was with us the whole time. The tiger was 15 months old. I was patting him, Everything was fine. I just stood up to leave.

''He just lunged. That was it.

''There can be no blame attached to anyone,'' Jake said. ''People claimed my father must have run to trigger the tiger's response.

''But my dad has two steel pins in an ankle, so he never moves very fast.

''We all heard the taser go off. I heard him screaming 'Get it off me!'. And that's when I knew it was my Dad.''

There were five tigers in the cage and two of Mr Goudie's relatives in there with him when the holiday outing turned sour.

It's thought that Mr Goudie may have seemed a tastier option than the chicken the tigers are usually fed.

The facility has been open on Phuket since July last year and there are other outlets in Thailand. Maulings are rare or at least seldom reported.

Phuketwan got no help when reporters called the facility this morning and every effort was made at the hospital by a staff representative to stop us talking to Paul and Jake.

The Goudies were, however, keen to have the story told and keen to make the point that they did not blame Tiger Kingdom. They were ''absolutely fantastic,'' Paul said.

The family was on the fourth day of their holiday and has 11 more days on Phuket.

With surgery required but no major damage to tissue or tendons, Paul Goudie hopes to be back on his feet by then.

He may even be considering another tiger tattoo.

''I don't want anything to happen to the tiger,'' he said. ''I don't want it killed.''

The Goudies were told that the tiger involved in the mauling would be ''retired'' and not in contact with visitors again.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I hope by retired they don't mean turned into a rug.
Also, I was shocked (see what I did there?) to read a taser was used. Is this standard procedure for controlling mauling tigers any where else in the world? I have my doubts...

Posted by A local on October 22, 2014 18:15

Editor Comment:

What other controlling process would you suggest?


'What other controlling process would you suggest?' How about not keeping these animals in captivity in the first place to provide 'amusement' for tourists.

Posted by Mister Ree on October 22, 2014 18:45

Editor Comment:

Realistic responses are always better than hippy waffle, MR.


Not letting people anywhere near striking distance of lethal size tigers sounds like a very good controlling process to me. As far as I know, it's also widely used all around the world, or at least in parts where safety concerns overweigh financial interests.

Posted by Herbert on October 22, 2014 19:08

Editor Comment:

Where is Kurt when his fences suddenly become relevant?


I wish the gentleman a speedy recovery. I was in tiger kingdom in Phuket only last week and it was such an amazing experience. I know exactly which tiger was involved in the incident as it did turn and show its teeth whilst we were in the enclosure.

Posted by michelle middling on October 22, 2014 19:40


Kathu Chief visited Tiger Kingdom, checked ownership documents, are in good order. Probably the tiger was not informed! ( thai paper madness). A tiger is a tiger, has a tiger instinct, regardless born in captivity or in the wild. Worldwide countless are the cases that lions, tigers 'unexpected' attacked their many years caretakers.
Kathu village chief said that it will not happen again. Is he a tiger-professional?

Posted by Kurt on October 22, 2014 20:23

Editor Comment:

More immediately, Kurt, are you a tiger professional? If not, why are you making pronouncements?


Mr. Editor, when I was a student I worked part time in a Zoo to earn money for my studies. I was cleaning accommodations of tigers and lions. I am sure I know a bit more about tigers and lions that the Kathu district chief who says that it will not happen again. Seems that the reaction of mrs Michelle Middling was that of a good observer. Is this comment doing ok, more supporting my first comment, mr. Editor?

Posted by Kurt on October 22, 2014 20:43

Editor Comment:

Not really. Cleaning a zoo doesn't make you an expert in animal behavior. The account from which you drew the Kathu director's quote is from another source. If you wish to give it credibility, talk about what he said there, not here.


Mr Editor, between 19:08 and 19:40 hrs you asked: Where is Kurt when his fences suddenly become relevant?. Well, I did serve you on your command. This tiger happening is not a fence thing. It is a matter of normal thinking. believe me, a tiger or lion in a cage can act in frustration at a unexpected moment. ( see non thai statistics). In Usa and Europe were tigers and lions live in captivity in large parks, you can drive through by car ( keep windows closed!)Even than they sometimes can get 'wild'. A tiger in a cage?? Most dangerous.

Posted by Kurt on October 22, 2014 20:58

Editor Comment:

You'll find experts who say animals raised in captivity react very differently and some who say hunting is a learned skill, not an instinct. These tigers are not from large parks in the US or Europe. Those tigers are different because their environment is different.


Mr Editor, I give you all the credit in/for your opinion/comment, with respect. But what are you trying to say?
Fact is that this tiger this time was behaving/acting as a tiger. The victim in the hospital shall prove that. Well, the victim was told that this tiger would be 'retired', correct? That actually means this tiger is now respected to be a tiger. Kathu district chef is a 'paper-tiger'. Sure he knows nothing about tigers, only about tourist money flows. This is the last thing I say about this subject as the tiger is now retired. God may know what that means for that tiger. Guess they put him down, as tigers communicate among each other and interact in tiger aggression.

Posted by Kurt on October 22, 2014 21:51

Editor Comment:

For all you know, Kurt, the district chief could have had a long career studying animals. Or the quotation could be not quite what he said, just as the article is not quite what transpired. Your interpretation is unsubstantiated opinion. Best not to go there. If your opinion is all that you are delivering, it's not worth having.


i hope you rot in jail Allen???. your ridicules comments are way out of line. Who died and left you in charge ??? thinking you are god ???. blowing of your high horse ???. i hope they close down you pathetic little paper. With it's 1996 tech website. You are a pompous fossil ???. every idiot except you can understand that getting in a cage with a 250 pound bengal tiger is asking for it ???. it's not a poodle ??? you wanker???.

Posted by Pompus ass on October 22, 2014 22:33

Editor Comment:

Thanks, PA. I guess you're another animal expert. I am not. But I do question the blind way some people slavishly support popular myths, especially when they have no first-hand knowledge. Some even descend into personal insults when they don't have the intelligence to prove a point.


Paul Goudie is to be praised for his attitude towards this tiger. He certainly will have quite a tale to tell. Tattoo & scar.

However TK have to be open & honest as to why this extremely rare event occurred, as far as they can ascertain.

Posted by Logic on October 23, 2014 00:49


Do they use drugs on the tigers and do they remove the claws? If so that is cruel and painful and is illegal in USA even for common housecats. Tasering is also questionable.
IMO These attractions should not be allowed, it is not a suitable life for the animals.

Posted by The Night Mare on October 23, 2014 00:54

Editor Comment:

The tigers definitely have claws and the TK people have always denied the animals are drugged. These are just the kind of falsehoods that people resort to in the absence of reliable information. First I've heard about tasering tigers, but it's probably better than a gun. The spread of humans has made it impossible for tigers to live where they should be living. Zoos are never ideal.


PW Ed Allow me to contradict your opinion. That tiger was not hunting, but acting in frustration at its enforced life of extreme boredom.
Also, Aussie accents will drive anyone to viciousness.

Posted by The Tiger Mare on October 23, 2014 00:59

Editor Comment:

There are a couple of other accents that trigger greater negative responses in this part of the world, TTM, rightly or wrongly. Let's not go there. If boredom inevitably tigger-ed aggressive reactions, there would be slaughter in front of television sets around the world every evening.


I have no sympathy for anyone western or not who should Know better in 2014 to think that health and SAFETY IS THE PROBLEM the PROBLEM IS THE PEOPLE WHO GO AND PAY FOR THESE EXCURSIONS .the dolphin PARK IS ON IT'S WAY thank god they don't bite only when they hump if its a ladies time of Month .Sorry but Animals in Asia are on the whole treated badly or Drugged it's about money . I understand someone will say well if the Tourists don't go the animals will Die and Yes that might be True but sadly take 6 to die they would save hundreds . not that they should die they should be free . I say go on Safari get out of the comfort of your truck and walk up to a tiger and stroke it and have a photo ,I think it would be Probably be the last photo your in ! and so i say leave wild animals in the wild and observe from oma a far and admire them from a Far . Rant Over !!!

Posted by Garry on October 23, 2014 01:07

Editor Comment:

No comment, Garry.


The starting point is that wild tigers are among most violent carnivores predators, who are well known for attack on humans too.
In regard of whether tigers that are bred in captivity are not predators anymore, I have no any knowledge , and surely , not being "tiger professional" myself, thus not being able to evaluate such claims, so I will stick to my opinion that all tigers are predators.
It is life/death question, so to persuade me in opposite the argument should be disproportionately persuasive. One surely would not jump from the roof to a naked asphalt just on someone's claim that particular part of asphalt has some innovative feature, and is able to absorb all the forces , so it is completely safe to dive in..?
Similar to visiting a tiger in his cage.
The attraction like in TK is a service targeted at consumers.
Consumers goods and services should be already by design virtually 100% safe.
Actual consumed item ("manufactured") of course is less safe as is a subject to "manufacturing" deficiencies, but still should be in the same risk category.
Can someone claim that TK attraction is safe by design? It means that it scientifically proven - and then again verified - that the design of the attraction is virtually 100% safe?
Of course not. As in the case now there are now efficient safeguard to prevent "malfunction" of the tiger. Services and goods for a general consumer that possess implied life risks are generally prohibited (there are several exception like acknowledged for a wide consumption drugs - tobacco, alcohol ; medicine w/side effects etc.).
Thailand Consumer protection Act mirrors similar provisions of the EU (GPSD) and of the laws of the majority of the rest of countries on the subject, but an enforcement of laws in the Kingdom is not the Kingdom's strong point.
Giving that a conventional knowledge is that tigers are rather aggressive predators , to persuade me that such attraction is really safe, would require that some without doubts authoritative body , say ISO, would acknowledge that such attractions are safe and set criteria for that putting it in a ISO standard, and then say SGS, but its Thailand or PRC office, would verify compliance with of all elements, say that tigers indeed born in captivity and so on whatever will be set as a condition.
Similarly, I would jump off 9-stores roof directly on asphalt only under similar conditions.
Otherwise I reject to participate in TK-like style attractions.
Moreover, my understanding that all those tigers are drugged.
I only once got to such tiger attraction purely by accident:
quite number of years ago between Pattaya and Bangkok, where I came as to crocodile farm, but then unexpectedly there was a tiger, not in a cage, virtually open air - you just make a turn and then a tiger just appeared in front of you.
We quickly made pictures standing behind him, and surely not touching -he was apparently drugged, but even opiates not always work..
That tiger existence was very unpleasant as you well aware that drugging a tiger is an apparent animal's mistreatment.
Since then I never went to similar attraction and my advice always was to avoid such places, like a famous "Tiger temple" where tigers are of course abused and drugged too, and few years ago volunteer carer has been mauled there too, and shared details of tigers' welfare there.

Posted by Sue on October 23, 2014 06:02

Editor Comment:

Your ''understanding'' is, as so often the case, built not on evidence but on supposition, Sue. TK denies the tigers are drugged and it would be foolish to assume they would reject the suggestion, given that some day, a disgruntled employer would eventually blow the whistle. The rest is pour myth. Unreliable testimony. The only point you make that has validity is that if going into a cage with tigers was 100 percent safe, nobody would pay to do it.


Why Mr Editor, do you slavishly defend the mayor and this park? As a reporter I would expect a more unbiased response. You may disagree with what people say, but surely as a journalist you would defend their right to say it. Just as we (including yourself) have no knowledge of the mayor's education levels, you do not know those of your readers either, yet you denigrate their comments.

Secondly, how can you possibly defend this treatment and show of wild animals. I have had dogs all my life, all well behaved, but if my dog had 50 people pawing all over it, sitting on it, smacking it on the head, I would be very worried about its potential reaction. That is a domesticated animal! And before you say it, I am not saying this man did this, just that the tiger, might have got to the end of its tether, the drugs worn off, or was reacting to something we would not see or understand. Don't believe me? Well find yourself a 'tame' crocodile and have your photo taken hugging it Mr Editor.

Posted by Mellisa on October 23, 2014 06:23

Editor Comment:

There is no mayor involved in this issue, Mellisa. I am not defending animal shows, just questioning the logic of those who criticise wildly without the ability to get the facts straight.


Sorry, but Thailand teaches some good things and some not so good things.. Among the latter to trust much less what salesman says.. . It is commonly socially much more acceptable to lie at sales pitch in Thailand than, say, in Europe.
Sorry, don't trust TK a yota on those claims..
Would their safety be verified in the way I can trust, then OK. It could be life/death situation, someone's from "Tiger Kingdom" assertions at best can be subject of verification, but it is not for a general consumer to do it, so the only way is to rely on conventional knowledge that a tiger is an aggressive predator.

Posted by Sue on October 23, 2014 06:42

Editor Comment:

The only thing wild in this affair are your sweeping false assumptions, Sue. The issue now is your tendency to see some people as ''natural'' liars. We don't tolerate bigotry. Goodbye.


Mayor/Village Chief, I am so sorry for my error! But I am sure you know what I meant.

Posted by Mellisa on October 23, 2014 07:50

Editor Comment:

Try district chief. I can only guess what you meant. Facts are missing.


Thais are not natural liars, that is true.

But it is an open secret that they are well known as liars. I know it sounds not pc but there is an interesting article in the Bangkok Post, headlined

Don't 'Thai' to me

Published: 21/11/2013 by Thai writer Voranai Vanijaka, good to know he is Thai.

"Don't 'Thai' to" me is an expression used by Thailand's surrounding countries.

Meaning not lie to me, not cheat me.

The article is easy to google and it is very interesting to learn about the reasons why Thais many times better lie then speaking the truth.

Posted by Georg The Viking on October 23, 2014 09:42

Editor Comment:

It's the national traits ascribed to different people that usually turn out to be the lies, Georg The Viking. I prefer to treat people as individuals rather than judging them by social myths. Most of the world's problems are caused by one group of people ascribing non-existent faults to other groups of people. Best not to do it, or to find excuses for people who do it.


I Whacked the Tiger. Cool. Hope he recovers fast.

The tiger will not. But most likely he will give hope to some erectile dysfunctioned chinese men. Most money is made with the puppies, so you need them a lot. But puppies grow big and hungry and there is not enough space and need for them, so they retire. Only some tigers last long or even grow old.
But that is not uncommon. Ask your favorite chicken or lamb or calf. Animals are used by humans for them purpose. The top predator is us. On the other hand, TK is giving tigers an extra space to survive as a species. The genes do not care why, they just want to survive.

Why did the tiger bite? Puberty, metabolism problems, or illness and pain. Otherwise highly unusual for the young, daily monitored and well fed and tranquilized tigers to behave aggressive. Or the staff just got to lazy in monitoring.

Posted by Lena on October 23, 2014 16:23


i listened to Mr. Goudie and his wife's interview on the radio today.
Amazingly gracious in his behavior.
He is not blaming anyone but full or praise for the Thai employees and management of Tiger Kingdom and the hospital staff.
His wife requested privacy and mentioned their son is very upset about some social media comments.

The family deserves privacy and respect the way they have handled this situation. Thank you Mr & Mrs Goudie for your interview wm

Posted by wm on October 24, 2014 11:28

Editor Comment:

Indeed. Paul is a thorough gentleman and his son Jake is a very mature and wise young man. We wish them a speedy recovery.


"I prefer to treat people as individuals rather than judging them by social myths."
Editors Comment.
You are a hypocrite of the highest order

Posted by Peter on October 24, 2014 13:42

Editor Comment:

People who make wild accusations anonymously on internet sites are beneath contempt, wouldn't you say, Peter?.


Ed, you don't remember your argument with me about refugee's. Don't you remember what you labelled Ozzies. Not as individuals that is for sure. I stand by my statement. It's is usually at this stage that you don't post my comments because it's your opinion or no opinion.

Posted by Peter on October 24, 2014 14:59

Editor Comment:

This comments section, Peter, is open to people who have extra information to add or some personal experience to relate that helps other readers understand the topic of the article more fully. Your opinion has no value. It is not wanted here. My opinion only comes into it when people think their opinion is more important than the facts or the truth. There are also people, believe it or not, Peter, who cannot distinguish between an online comment and reality, the real world and an artificial one. In the real world, though, my opinion about Australia and Australians remains the same as the views I express in the artificial world. Nothing two-faced about me.


Read your comment about treating people as individuals then go back and read your comments about Australians. It equals HYPOCRITE.

Back on topic the tigers at the tiger temple are drugged as their behaviour is so different to the tigers I have seen at Dream World. The tigers at Tiger Kingdom could well be drugged, you don't know and neither do I because I haven't been there.

Posted by Peter on October 24, 2014 15:43

Editor Comment:

I'm an Australian, Peter. My views about Australians are based on wide experience, both in the real world and online. I've never been two-faced about it.

I've just realised . . . you're a dingbat. You haven't been to Tiger Kingdom, but that doesn't stop you offering your opinion. You have no evidence any of the tigers you've ever seen are drugged . . . but you know. You know! Remarkable.

We are fortunate your opinion has no value.


never been scratched by your loving domestic cat, a cat is a cat is a cat.

Posted by slickmelb on October 25, 2014 20:29

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