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The big cat enclosure at Phuket's Tiger Kingdom is closed for now

Tiger Kingdom Closes Big Cat Cage

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
PHUKET: The ''big cat'' enclosure at Phuket's Tiger Kingdom has been closed to visitors and is likely to remain shut until officials check safeguards at the popular tourist attraction.

Australian tourist Paul Goudie, 49, was mauled by a tiger in the enclosure on October 21 and needed hospital treatment for bites to a leg and his stomach.

Although the ''big cat'' enclosure reopened soon after, the Director of Wildlife Conservation Office 5, Jeerasak Chukamdee, insisted from his base in the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat that Tiger Kingdom could only reopen that section with his approval.

As a result, the ''big cat'' section has closed again. Previously, tourists could enter the cage with adult animals to have their photos taken petting the creatures.

The Phuket attraction opened last year and has since proven to be a big success. Tourists can continue to pet tigers of varying sizes in other enclosures.

The tiger that mauled Mr Goudie has been ''retired,'' according to Tiger Kingdom.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


What happens when the tigers are "retired" I hope they are sent to parkland and not put to sleep.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on December 3, 2014 13:08


I suspect now it has no baht producing revenue its retired to being a floor rug Ed anything known on Mr Goudies recovery?

Posted by slickmelb on December 3, 2014 15:41


the tigers that are retired are put in in camps around in the northen provinces. not east what i know of. was in chiang mai tiger kingdome just a few weeks ago and got the first hand info.. there are 4-8 kiddos born every month, CM was very peacefull and good inviroment for the tigers with slow quiet customers.. (donno about phuket) anyway its the same owners and the tigers are NOT put to sleep.. well if they didnt lie me straight in the face wich i doubt--

Posted by frog on December 3, 2014 23:16


Authorities require a local business to make changes to their service to prevent further danger to tourists. How refreshing. It is now safer to take my son to the Tiger Kingdom than to the beach.

Posted by Chris on December 4, 2014 08:55


"Retired" means killed and cut into pieces to end up as Chinese Traditional Medicines for export to China. Most tigers can't be used for tourism after they become adults and with enough offspring there is no need to hold on to the big ones that can bring in up to 10,000 US dollars each on the illegal trade.

Edwin Wiek / Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Posted by Edwin Wiek on December 4, 2014 09:40


The large tigers are fine, they're just in a large enclosure where the public can just see them. They look quite happy & content too.

Posted by Anonymous on December 4, 2014 14:41


I expect they'll stick it in a cage where it will gradually sink into tiger depression. Finally it will probably end up in bottles of wine sold in China.

Posted by wilko on December 4, 2014 16:42


let us be their voice

Posted by lisa on December 5, 2014 04:53


Wild animals should be left in the wild, not put in cages by greedy people, so stupid people can go in the cage and pet them. I'm surprised more idiots haven't been bitten, mauled or killed. Phuket's Tiger Kingdom should shut down permanently, surely there are more interesting tourist attractions in your country.

Posted by Mary M on December 5, 2014 11:24


The day people stop paying to pet these poor enslaved creatures is the day they stand a chance of being in the wild as they should be. I hope they don't end up as the lion cubs in petting zoos that are used in canned hunting. Cubs who have been trained from infancy to trust people, cuddling & petting them when they grow are then put in a cage so someone can, when these animals come up to them for pets, shoot them and display them like some trophy- it's soul crushing! Just follow the money!!!

Posted by Deborah on December 5, 2014 12:27


It's ludicrous to think that tourists can be allowed to pet wild animals and have their pictures taken with them. These animals are stressed and unpredictable. But if someone can please find out what happens to the "retired" tigers, I would greatly appreciate you posting it. There are PLENTY of rescue groups that will take these cats, give them proper treatment, medics care, and appropriate diet.

Posted by Deborah Williams on December 8, 2014 00:59

Editor Comment:

There is no suggestion that the tigers are not being given proper treatment, medical care and appropriate diet.


Human contact with adult tigers is always dangerous. And is not "proper treatment ."
Very doubtful if retired means retired to a sanctuary type of existence. More likely means ended up in the Chinese body parts industry.

Posted by Desmond Fowles on December 8, 2014 17:07


The sense of those who utilize these attractions can be illustrated by a local expat woman who put tiger make-up on her kid, put her in the cage, then took a picture of the child right next to the tiger making a threatening face and gesture. The tiger's head is turned toward the child and appears on full alert. Soooooo cute!!

Posted by Tiger Wan on December 9, 2014 11:34


@ Chris your son and the whole world be safer at tiger kingdom than anywhere near beach jet ski operations yes they can bite maul extract blood and cause life threating injuries they follow the law of the jungle but the tigers are quiet ok.

Posted by slickmelb on December 13, 2014 01:42


The few times I have been there have been a pleasant surprise even by Australian Standards.....I would not however venture into a large tigers thanks

Posted by Tys on December 13, 2014 06:09


What about the Zoo in Chalong and the BIG cat.

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on December 16, 2014 09:27

Sunday June 13, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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