Pachaderm Dreams and Feline Fantasies
Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
147Trip End May 30, 2013
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Once we reached Chiang Mai, I'm afraid to admit that it was exactly what I was dreading...A down town core packed with guest houses and restaurants each with gigantic banners advertising all of the various tour packages you can buy: trekking, elephant riding, bamboo rafting...all in the company of 100's of others – yay
We also took in one of the hokiest tourist activities available – petting tigers. We hummed and hawed about this for quite awhile, but eventually the opportunity to be around live tigers won out. Now I know there will be some of you who are against the whole thing, just like elephants. But unfortunately, we don't live in a utopic world. These animals can no longer live in the wild no matter how much we wish it so. Humans have changed nature so much that there is no more natural habitat for them. And the truth is, the bit of area they have, they are being poached to extinction. The only place they are safe is within enclosures or nature reserves. This particular place acts as a breeding facility for zoos around the world. In the meantime, the tigers get to live out the epitome of cat-like-life: laying around in the sun, being fed and getting pets.
Both of us wanted to see the 'big' cats (as opposed to 'medium', 'small', or 'smallest')
it's true. They have been raised in the presence of many humans and are only fed chicken so they don't get a taste for red meat or blood and have obviously never had to hunt for their food. They reminded me quite a bit of our old cat - lazing around and tolerating the humans in order to get food :)