In the last week of November, 2012, I was in Chiang Mai visiting some of my ex-pat friends who live there now. I asked them if it was possible to visit the tigers of Chiang Mai. I was told to check out a place called Tiger Kingdom.
I discovered there is such a place, where even small children can spend time with baby tigers. It is also quite reasonable to spend the day there. There is a nice restaurant where you can eat lunch, and observe the tigers at play.
I paid about 420 baht, which is around $12 U.S., and obtained a reservation number. When your number is called a trainer introduces you the tigers you'll be spending time with.
When my number was called, I discovered that I would be the only one going into a cage filled with 12 Bengal Tigers. It was a little frightening at first. The trainer told me where I could sit safely just behind the big cats. I was interested in finding out if they still had their claws and teeth. He assured me that these large cats are well taken care of, and still have all of their teeth and claws. He demonstrated by showing me that nothing had been removed from these lovely cats.
After getting over some of my initial fears, I began to relax, if that if possible, and just enjoyed stroking their fur and feeling the strength of their muscles.
I highly recommend this experience, if you are interested in getting up close and really personal with a live Bengal Tiger.
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