Once again, photos are circulating in the media of tigers from Sri Racha zoo in Thailand, no doubt used to evoke the how cute response. As usual, it shows a tiger with piglets dressed in tiger skin jackets. In the Daily Telegraph the bizarre claim is made in the caption that the tiger was raised on sows milk to calm her ferocious nature.
It is the hand-rearing which is making the tigers more manageable, but only to a certain degree, as one of their members of staff sadly found to her cost. She was attacked by six tigers in the zoo, trying to make them pose for tourist photos. She died of her wounds.
The zoo regularly uses the gimmick of displaying of pigs, dogs and tigers seemingly raising each others offspring. It is stressful for the mothers of the young animals concerned to have their offspring removed and it appears they do not usually suckle these strange replacements, instead the zoo staff bottle rear the infants. The female pigs are kept in farrowing crates, a cruel device which prevents the pig from turning round, and banned in this country in 1999; it appears at least some of the tiger cubs which go on to be used in photo opportunities with visitors have their claws removed, and those tigers not kept on show are housed behind the scenes in tiny, barren, concrete cages. If anyone would like more information on Sri Racha, please contact our Zoo Check colleagues firstname.lastname@example.org