Photos by Lady Freethinker
A new investigation by Lady Freethinker (LFT) reveals extreme abuse to big cats in Thai zoos, including tigers, lions, and ligers tightly chained by the neck to concrete slabs, whipped repeatedly, and having lighter flames forced under their nostrils, all so tourists can pose with them in cruel photo ops.
Lady Freethinker’s investigator visited eleven zoos in Thailand in March 2023, and documented distressed tigers pacing back and forth in barren, concrete enclosures with murky green water, and lions and ligers chained to the ground cowering in fear when handlers raised their fists.
In response to the undercover investigation, Bachelorette alum and conservationist Blake Moynes is joining Lady Freethinker to urge Thai officials to ban selfies with big cats.
“The video showing tigers chained tightly to concrete and other big cats pacing in small, barren enclosures with murky green water is a disgrace to these incredible animals who are on the brink of extinction,” said Moynes. “These extraordinary beings are often ripped away from their families at young ages and deprived of all that is natural and important to them. All for a selfie.”
Here is what the investigation found:
Handlers forcefully pulled on the nostrils of lions and ligers to make them raise their heads for a photo
Tigers had scars on their faces and bodies
Big cats appeared skinny and malnourished
One tiger’s right eye was severely cloudy and the animal appeared to be blind
Handlers teased the animals by yelling at them and threatening to hit them with sticks before a photoshoot