I went today to write an article about the Tiger Kingdom in Phuket. Seeing these majestic animals in captivity was heartbreaking. And awe inspiring.
And… heart breaking.
I felt I was there to help. I gave them massages, and reiki, and purring, and cooing and so much love…. aching for and visioning their freedom.
It was hard to reconcile being there, and also being a part of the problem simply by being there, albeit with my mission – to write about it and create reflections and awareness… and to give the caged tigers my deep love / heart connection / reiki and massage.
I found myself reconsidering my childhood dreams and considering a late blooming career in wild animal Theraputic massage? Or caged wildlife activism?
I kept looking around at the exits, trying to think of a strategy to help them escape. I came home and started searching for organizations who help stop this kind of thing.
It’s easy to feel daunted by all the injustices in the world and the endless causes to support, but until you see one with your own eyes, you don’t feel that passionate activation.
The experience was heartbreaking for this cat lover, who often gives hour long massages to felines (and pups, and snakes… and rabbits…and…tigers?).
I really felt I was able to connect with them, and uplift them, even for an hour…., as I watched other tourists who were just posing for pictures, treating them as props
I massaged them and purred and rubbed them and put prayers into their unbelievably beautiful bodies.
They really responded to me. The keepers saw how special my bond was with them, and they let me stay far longer instead of rushing me out after the 10 minutes I had paid for.
They even offered to take pictures for free on my phone, which was prohibited (you were only supposed to get pictures if you hired one of their photographers, which i didn’t). I ended up being so grateful that i can treasure those moments forever
I left with mixed feelings – grateful for the mind blowing feline love I felt, and the love I was able to give them … and also so so so sad – determined to somehow do something to help them be liberated.
Sigh… wildlife sedated in captivity is gut wrenching… and wow … what an experience ….