Monk 'mauled' at Tiger Temple tourist attraction in Thailand

Abbot left with broken arm and bleeding face

Updated: 
Abbot attacked by tiger at Tiger Temple in Thailand

A monk at the Tiger Temple tourist attraction in Thailand has been hospitalised after an incident with one of animals at the park.

An abbot was left with a broken arm and blood pouring from his face after he fell while walking one of the 150 tigers living at the temple.

Luang Ta Jan, 64, was taken to intensive care at Thanakarn Hospital on Saturday.

He told doctors it wasn't the tiger's fault, and that the cat "didn't intend" to attack him, reports the Daily Mail.

Jan said the incident was triggered when he slipped and fell while pulling the tiger along by a lead. He said the arm and tooth were broken when he fell, rather than being an injury inflicted by the tiger.

According to Yahoo News, his doctor and hospital director Sahathep Sawarngnet told AFP: "It didn't intend to attack him at all, only that its nail quickly scratched him when he fell, like a cat.

"If it was a real attack, his face would have been torn apart - but there was only a scratching line from his forehead to his lips."

The incident is likely to fuel animal rights campaigners' argument that the animals should not be living there in the first place.

Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua is located in the western Kanchanaburi province and is commonly known as the 'Tiger Temple'.

It sees a lot of young tourists visiting hoping to get up close encounters and pictures with the cats.

But Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) says the temple has been keeping the tigers without proper paperwork and is reportedly hoping to seize them.

There have previously been controversy over its ethics, with some critics wondering why the tigers are so sleepy for 'visiting hours'.

For £20, tourists used to be able to visit them in the Tiger Canyon, a quarry with a pool, which is home to around 12 tigers chained to the ground.

The small opportunity of time to touch the animals prompted some people to suggest they had been sedated, something the temple denied.

In April, the DNP banned the temple from charging tourists admission fees or money to take photos with the tigers.

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