Sunday, July 24, 2011


On this trip I have made it a point to push myself and to get out of my comfort zone. I drove and ATV and then  a motor bike. I hiked with hill tribe women, rode on a number of not to code boats and even feed wild monkys but yesterday I really jumped out of my comfort zone. I willingly got into cages with full grown tigers armed with only my camera. Yesterday I visited Tiger Kingdom outside of Chang Mai, Thailand and it was freaking awesome. Many people have said things about the tigers not being treated properly or that they are drugged but that wasn't what I saw at all. The tigers looked very healthy and had very clean living conditions. Like all cats tigers are nocturnal so they want to lay around during they day and get a belly rub. The tigers were very alert and aware of us while we were with them which would not be characteristic of a giant that had been drugged up. There were some cats that were running around and playing with each other; a few were even swimming in the tiger pool.
When we arrived we were all very nervous but also clearly excited. We chose to see the smallest and the biggest tigers. We got to go into their living area with them to pet them and of course get some amazing photos. The smallest tigers were so cute it was hard not to pick them up or play with them like one would a house cat. I wanted to stay with them for hours and just take photos. 

Seeing the babies helped ease us into the whole hanging out with an animal that could kill you with one paw swipe thing. As our turn to be with the biggies got closer it began to rain so we had to visit with them in their cages rather than the big open play area which was a bummer. Liz was the first one to approach the big tiger and well... to be frank... I thought we were going to die. As soon as she got near him he started making this really low growl and his ears laid flat on his head. I don't know a lot about cats but I know those aren't good signs. Liz quickly backed away and Laura and I practically threw ourselves against the fence. Then in what seemed like a millisecond he was standing on all fours (still growling mind you) and then bam off the table walking right toward me. Our photographer moved in front of me for "protection". His 95lbs would have only served as a great snack before me as the main course. The tiger guy kept telling us it was fine he was just hungry and not to worry but after the tiger jumped off the table he changed his tune and we moved to the next cage to let him deal with the GIGANTIC HUNGRY TIGER!!!! For the record the tiger was not hit or stunned or anything like that the man just yelled at the tiger. We were so nervous after that experience that it was hard to relax with the next two kitties. I was able to relax enough to take in the fact that I got to be that close to such gorgeous animals. Maybe there is a thin line between courage and stupidity but what the hell... I got to cuddle a tiger.
There wasn't much room to move away
He was calm for me
Not a happy kitty

My face got so itchy after that

My chingus


  1. Wow Cassie...Great pictures......Very very cool

  2. The kids, and I are amazed! Can't wait to hear some stories in person!