Tigers to be freed. News Story Original Version. schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org. 20th April 2015

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1 Tigers to be freed 20th April 2015 AFTER 15 years of complaints by animal rights campaigners, all the tigers held at Thailand s Tiger Temple are set to be freed by the end of April. The temple is famous for keeping more than a hundred tigers within its grounds. Tourists pay an entrance fee to visit the temple and are able to feed the tiger cubs or take a selfie with one of the big cats. Although the monks and staff at the temple claimed that they were helping to protect tigers, over the years there have been many claims of animal cruelty. The News Story Original Version temple has been accused of taking lion cubs away from their mothers at too young an age, drugging the tigers to make sure they aren t dangerous to visitors and not allowing the big cats to have enough exercise. It has also been claimed that tigers have been illegally bought and sold by the temple and that older tigers may have been sold to other countries so that their body parts could be used to make traditional Chinese medicines. Following pressure from animal rights campaigners, director-general of Thailand s Department of National Parks, Nipon Chotiban, announced that all of the temple s tigers must be set free by the end of this month. schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org

2 TIGERS TO BE FREED ADDITIONAL FACTS AND FIGURES IILLEGAL TRADE It is against the law to exchange or sell tigers. However, investigations by Care for the Wild International, found that the Tiger Temple imported and exported tigers with a tiger farm in Laos (a country next to Thailand). Often, older animals from the Temple were exchanged for young cubs from Laos. The old tigers were then sold and killed for their body parts, e.g. to make medicine from tiger bone glue. At the Tiger Temple, newly arriving tigers were given the same names as the older animals. This is so that people wouldn t STOP WILDLIFE SELFIES! Selfies are fun but not for captive wild animals. Animal protection charity, Care for the Wild International, wants tourists to stop taking photos of themselves with wild animals, such as tigers. Spokesman Philip Mansbridge said: I know people will think we are out to spoil people s fun. But the reality is, one quick pic for you means a lifetime of suffering for that animal. If you really want that Facebook photo this summer, then I challenge you to do a couple of things first check that the animal still has its teeth and claws, check the conditions it sleeps in, check for marks where it s been beaten, and check where it s going to end up when it s no longer cute enough for photos. As well as the risk to wildlife, tourists are also putting themselves at danger. Care for the Wild International estimates that there are up to 60 incidents a year of captive tigers attacking tourists or volunteers at the Tiger Temple. ADVICE FOR HOLIDAYMAKERS FROM ABTA (ASSOCIATION FOR BRITISH TRAVEL AGENTS): Take care of the local animals. Think twice about taking part in activities that might distress an animal. Avoid souvenirs made of animal parts as this can contribute to illegal poaching. If you see an animal that is being mistreated in a tourism attraction, please report this to your travel company.

3 TIGERS TO BE FREED ADDITIONAL FACTS AND FIGURES TIGER FACTS Tigers are native to much of Asia. Until the 20th Century there were about 100,000 animals but now fewer than 3,000 endangered tigers remaining in the wild. This is due to: illegal hunting for their fur, meat and body parts (used in traditional medicines) as well as habitat loss that results from logging (cutting down trees for wood) and other forest destruction. Laos Thailand

4 KEY TOPIC VOCABULARY CAN you match the correct definition to the key words in this news story? illegal A photo of yourself, taken by yourself. traditional Chinese medicine People who argue that animals should be protected from harm because they believe animals have rights too, e.g. not to suffer tiger bone glue Medicines and health practises from China, based on ancient beliefs rather than scientific knowledge. Many animal parts are used in the medicines. monks Men, like the Buddhist monks of Tiger Temple, who live in a religious community. poaching Not legal - against the law selfie To bring in goods from another country, and to send goods to another country, in order to sell them. endangered A traditional Chinese medicine made by boiling up tiger bones. animal rights campaigners To illegally hunt and kill wild animals. A person who speaks publicly on behalf of an organisation. import and export spokesman Likely to become extinct because there are so few of the animals left in the wild.

5 KNOW THE FACTS FIND the answers to these questions to make sure you know the facts behind the news story: 1) Why has Tiger Temple been a popular Thai tourist destination for years? 2) What decision will affect the temple at the end of April? 3) Who has made this decision? 4) Find three ways in which tigers are supposed to have been mistreated at the temple. 5) What is claimed to happen to older tigers? 6) How many tigers remain in the wild, and why has their population gone down so dramatically in recent years?

6 POINTS OF VIEW WHAT DO YOU THINK? Discuss these questions with other people to develop your ideas. 1) Why do you think tourists wanted to visit this temple? 3) People have been campaigning to get these tigers released for years. Why do you think the Thai tourist minister finally made this decision? 2) Why do you think the monks wanted to keep tigers at the temple? 5) Different countries think about animals is different ways. Is it OK to argue that that other countries should treat animals as we do? 4) Is it possible for animals to have rights, just as humans do? What might be the arguments for and against giving animals rights? SHARE your thoughts on these questions with your partner school.

7 VOTE, COMMENT, ACT CAN you explore this news story even further? 1) Endangered animals the IUCN categories The world s animals and plants are grouped into seven internationally-agreed categories to explain how at risk they are of extinction. The categories are devised by the IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature). It is responsible for collecting information on populations and deciding which category an organism falls into. Can you find out the names of the seven categories and explain what each means? Find three examples of animals or plants in each category. Are any of these animals (or plants) from your country or the country of your partner school? 2) Campaign for change The campaign to free the tigers of Tiger Temple has finally succeeded. If you feel strongly about animal rights there are many ways you can get active and get involved. Here are some current animal welfare concerns: Keeping marine mammals for entertainment, for example, in parks such as SeaWorld. The welfare of farm animals: getting people to choose free-range meat over cheap meat. The rising popularity of animal fur in designer fashion Choose one of these campaigns or another animal welfare topic you feel strongly about - and start to make a difference. Alternatively, choose an endangered animal to focus on. Think of a way in which you can communicate your cause (or the plight of your animal) to the people around you and explain to them why change is needed. Some ideas might include: A poster Leaflets A website An assembly Badges A slogan Share your campaign with your partner school.

Tigers to be freed. News Story Original Version (Primary) schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org. 20th April 2015

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