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If you intend to go to Tibet for sightseeing travel, don’t miss the chance to visit the temple of the tigers.

The temple of the tigers is a Buddhist temple in western Thailand, where various animals and especially tigers live together with the monks. City bus tours that can take you there are organized every day.

The temple was founded by Abbot Acharn Phusit. According to the tradition, the monks never buy food and eat only food given to them by the people. Acharn Phusit ate half of the food and put the rest near the entrance of the temple for hungry animals to eat. Archarn Phusit said he only wanted to save and nurse the animals. He was a Buddhist, so he believed in reincarnation and thought that in their past lives the animals were his friends or even members of his family.

You probably think that tigers (known as wild cats) are excellent hunters that can easily catch and eat large animals. So how do these animals live with men? The monks say, ”He, who can control a tiger, can cope with life.”

The temple hosts more than 17 tigers, boars, horses, peacocks and bears. Each animal has its unique history. The majority of tigers living in the temple were rescued from hunters.

The story of the boar is very interesting. The poor animal was found wounded. The monks nursed him, but he suddenly disappeared after a few weeks. People thought that the boar would never be back, but some time later he returned to the temple and brought his family with him. The monks were pleasantly surprised.

Though Acharn Phusit has no formal training techniques, all his tigers are well-trained. The tigers aren’t kept in cages and the monks feed them with milk tablets, boiled meat and dry cat food containing lots of vitamins.

As the tigers have been living in the temple from early childhood, they don’t know the taste of raw meat (and thankfully, the taste of blood) and aren’t able to hunt, therefore they are not aggressive.

So, you shouldn’t be afraid of them, as it’s unlikely that they will hurt you.

Read my follow-up post to learn more about the temple of the tigers.

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