Tiger punched at Thailand temple in video seen by millions

'I saw some of the tigers being dragged by the tail and one of the tigers being punched in the face,' witness says

Will Worley
Sunday 24 January 2016 18:25 GMT
A screenshot of the moment the tiger was punched
A screenshot of the moment the tiger was punched (Pranay Dalmia/Facebook)

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A temple in Thailand which displays tigers for tourists has faced criticism after a visitor recorded a video of a staff member punching one of the large cats.

Visitor Pranay Dalmia was shocked by what he saw and posted the footage on the Facebook page of the Tiger Temple, also known as Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno.

“It was really depressing to see the tigers being treated poorly,” he wrote.

“I saw some of the tigers being dragged by the tail and one of the tigers being punched in the face.”

Mr Dalmia said he was “glad” the issue was gaining the attention of the world’s media, after the video was viewed 5.6 million times.

Following the appearance of the video, the Facebook page of the Tiger Temple received numerous comments from people concerned for the welfare of the tigers.

Facebook user Monica Winkler wrote: “We demand an update on your immediate progress and follow through on your staff and the Tigers well-being. This is absolutely NOT acceptable!"

The Tiger Temple, in Kanchanaburi Province, north west of Bangkok, also responded on Facebook, saying: “We do not condone this sort of behavior [sic] with the tigers and this situation is being dealt with. This incident is not a frequent occurrence.

“It is not the first time that this happens [sic] and it's not because it's online now that we are dealing with it. At the moment at the Temple we are undergoing a lot of positive changes that the public are not aware of and the main one is the way the tigers are handled, all staff will be having training on how to control and handle the tigers.”

It is not the first time the Tiger Temple has been at the centre of controversy.

Last year, the attraction was raided by Thai authorities for holding protected wildlife without appropriate licenses, and six black bears were recovered.

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