“Cubs are removed from the mother after a few days old and hand-reared,” the source said. “This way, the [mother] tiger can be introduced to another male so that she can produce more cubs.”
Some of these facilities, particularly in Thailand, offer up-close and personal interactions with the cubs and adult tigers, who are often drugged, with the promise that the funds support tiger conservation. Unsuspecting tourists who seek out “tiger selfies” are very likely supporting tiger slaughter in the process, Banks said.
This issue took center stage two years ago when investigators raided the infamous Tiger Temple, a claimed wildlife sanctuary and popular tourist spot in Thailand that was accused of secretly farming its tigers for sale on the black market. Officials discovered the bodies of 40 tiger cubs inside freezers on the property, in addition to several tiger skins and fangs and amulets made from tiger parts.