Holy monks living in complete harmony with wild animals. What could be more touching and endearing? Well, almost anything! Wat Pha Lung Ta Bua has been on the main tourist trail in Thailand for more than a decade now. For a hefty charge of US$20 you can visit the temple and have your picture taken with a real live apparently tame tiger, or photograph the monks cuddling them. Who wouldn’t want that? Well, the tigers for one. For quite a while now the rumor has been circulating that the tigers in this temple are docile because they are drugged. Combine mass tourism and money with religion and the results are rarely inspiring, and this is particually so in Buddhist Asia. That the Wat is little more than a money-making racket is hardly a surprise – such things are common enough in Thailand. But now concerned animal welfare advocates have obtained hard evidence that something much more unpleasant than common garden variety greed is going on at the Wat. The tigers are, it seems, being bred to be sold on to the illegal wildlife market – i.e. being killed for their various body parts. Concerned people have started a petition to have something done about this sad (for the tigers) and shameful (for the monks) situation. Although well intentioned, I fear that petition will fall foul of the Thai approach to so many problems; “Mai pen rai”, “Don’t worry about it”. But you never know. Miracles do happen. So read the facts and sign the partition anyway.