One of the biggest excuses which has been used to keep all these Tigers at the Temple has been because of conservation. We all know that Tigers are going extinct across their range states due to poaching, wildlife trade, habit loss, prey species loss, human/animal conflict and disease.
Conservation means to preserve and protect. The conservation of Tigers means to preserve the pure genetics of the species, such as the Sumatran Tigers, the Bengals, the Indochinese, the Siberians, the Malayans, the South Chinese (however extinct in the wild). Each Tiger being not only physically different, but also genetically different. All unique.
Conservation does not mean that you can grab any Tiger you like and start breeding them. The Temple Tigers are cross bred hybrids or inbred. They have no idea what sub species they are, however most have got a bit of Bengal tiger in them with a possibility of just a few having a bit of Indochinese.
The truth is, when the Tiger Temple bought the original Tigers from the Laos Tiger farm, they didnt have a clue what they were getting, they just wanted 4 boys and 4 girls. Tiger Temple has claimed the original Tiger Mek was a Bengal Tiger. By careful examination of the photographs of Mek, he probably was a full Bengal, however he was terribly inbred. This inbreeding happened at the Laos Tiger farm, from where he was illegally cross boarder traded with Tiger Temple.
So, for all the people who “think” that all these Tigers in the Temple were bred for conservation purposes, that is the furthest thing that was actually happening. They were bred to entertain you and earn money before being callously discarded. The TT Tigers had a use by date….
Here is the original Mek, disappeared in late Dec 2005 early 2006, lost to the wildlife trade because “Laos wanted a breeding male” and they chose to have Mek back.
You can see the inbred traits of Mek, the short stocky legs and neck, small ears, big head.
Although he (and all the other Temple tigers) are not able to be classed as “conservation” tigers, they are all still beloved, still deserved to be loved and cared for at the highest levels. And certainly NOT to loose their lives because of corrupt deals cut by fake Monks and wildlife traders…..
Initially, there was only one picture of the original Tiger Mek, but after a great deal of searching, and some very wonderful members of the public who helped out, we collected quite a few and stripe ID’d him 100%. (Stripe ID is as reliable as DNA).
Here is one of the better photographs of this wonderful Tiger, that lost his life because of corruption and money.
Rest peacefully beautiful Mek xo