It's no surprise to anyone that tiger populations across the globe are in abysmal shape. As is stands, there are less than 3,500 tigers in the wild today. This is due to habitat loss, human hunting and poaching. Tiger Temple is home to 122 tigers and breeding them to such large volumes in captivity can trick people into believing that there are plenty of tigers and protection of them in the wild is no longer necessary. It gives a false misconception; tigers in the wild are not sweet and harmless, a real life tiger-human situation would not result in the human sitting astride the tiger. This doesn't mean however, that wild tigers are to be demonized and left to fizzle out.
I'm an animal lover (if that wasn't obvious) and I fully understand how magical and enchanting it must be to get the chance to be so close to a tiger than you can feel the softness of its fur. But it's because I have so much respect for these majestic creatures that I know they don't deserve this. As much as I would love to pet a tiger, I know it's wrong. All animals, regardless of species, deserve to live their lives as nature intended, in the wild, away from human interaction. I feel the same way about SeaWorld and about zoos. Let someone cage you up for the rest of your life and see how you feel. Someday, there will be no tigers left and the human race will have to hold itself accountable. Conservation is the answer, but not in the form of Tiger Temple. If you are planning to visit southeast Asia I urge to please reconsider having these parks on your itinerary; it's not worth it for the sake of one photograph. A picture does tell one thousand words and in this case, none of them are positive.