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Tiger attacks Aussie tourist who stepped into its cage

October 24, 2014 Destination Thailand, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A tourist from Melbourne stepped inside a tiger’s cage at a park in Phuket to pat the animal and have his photo taken. The tiger immediately attacked him and the hapless tourist had to be dragged from the cage by park attendants.

The tiger mauled Paul Goudie, 49, who was rushed to Phuket International Hospital, the Phuket Gazette reported. Goudie received 29 stitches in his leg and remains under observation.

Thailand’s tiger parks are popular because they encourage interaction with the animals.

“I visited Tiger Kingdom [the park where Goudie was injured] today and found that all the ownership documents for the tigers are in order,” Kathu District officer Sayan Chanachaiwong told the Phuket Gazette yesterday. “However, we will be reviewing their safety procedures. This should not have We must ensure that an incident like this does not occur again.”

Tiger Kingdom opened in Phuket in August 2013. Hundreds of visitors enter cages each day there to have their photos taken with tigers, Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported. Sometimes they even sit on the backs of chained tigers.

Before entering one of the concrete cages, guests are required to remove all loose belongings, including their shoes. They must sign a waiver absolving Tiger Kingdom of any responsibility if an accident occurs.

People have been attacked at various other Thai tiger parks. A tiger knocked down a 19-year-old British student last year and bit through her thigh at the Tiger Temple park in the Kanchanaburi district.

A Thai woman suffered severe head and arm injuries in 2011 after being mauled by a tiger at the Million Year Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm in East Pattaya, the Telegraph reported. Two years before that, a tourist from New Zealand decided to touch a tiger’s head at the Khumsu Chiang Mai Tiger Centre in the north of Thailand.

She ended up hospitalised for weeks.

Animal welfare groups are demanding an end to exploitation of tigers in Thailand. The tigers might well agree.

Written by : Peter Needham

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