Sunday, June 29, 2008

On the exploitation of Tiger/Snake/Elephant

I wouldn't say we're 'trapped' here, more like legally compelled to stay, so to run down the time (almost a week we hadn't anticipated) we hit locally cultural delicacies.

That amount of time in this town necessitates a few trips and below is the sad photographic evidence of my complicity in the exploitation of three fine specimens of deeply unfulfilled animal POWs. Tigers, snakes and elephants.

A tiger cub, full of the natural instinct and ferocity of a genuine, not-for-show tiger engages in a deadly battle with some blue plastic.

Queuing for a ride on an elephant I was slowly but almost fatally attacked by an albino burmese python. I took it rather well all things considered, I think he stopped trying to kill me because I was laughing so much that it cheapened the whole affair.

It is against the law in Thailand to drive with no hands... talk about a gangster.

To be honest I felt a little weird about what all those animals must do when we're not around, I'd like to think they're happy, and I suppose considering they don't know anything else that could be said to be true, but they seemed a little dead on the inside. The tigers in particular were so sedate that I wouldn't be surprised if it came out that in the morning they were given, along with what I hope is a lot of raw meat, a twenty minute drip of dopamine direct to the spinal column. While we were sitting there rubbing them (just looking isn't considered to be enjoying them enough, one must touch to get one's money's worth) I was wondering what it would take to get one really angry, if it was possible at all and to be honest, if I had walked up to the biggest one and kicked his almost sleeping head clean off the ground I doubt he would have reacted. Sad but true.

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