Hey, Tinder Dude: Where'd You Get that Tiger?

·Managing Editor

(Courtesy: Thinkstock)

How do you attract your future soul mate’s attention with a single photo?

These days a disproportionate number of men seem to think a picture of them delicately cuddling a tiger, or perched precariously next to the giant beast, will do the trick. 

The digital dating site Tinder has made women around the country beg the question: What’s up with all these guys posing with tigers?  Two Tumblrs have popped up to document the trend, Tinder Guys With Tigers (http://tinderguyswithtigers.tumblr.com/) and Tigers on Tinder (http://tigersontinder.tumblr.com/).


(Courtesy: Tinderguyswithtigers.tumblr.com)

We care less about the why and more about the where. Where are all these men taking pictures with adorable, yet ferocious—and possibly sedated—large cats?

An ex-boyfriend of mine has long used a tiger as lady-bait in his Facebook profile picture (there’s a reason he is an ex). For me, he is the classic Tiger-Guy—works in finance, lives with roommates after the age of 30, drinks until he blacks out on Thursday nights.

“Where’d you take your tiger picture?” I messaged him.

“Thailand. Spring break with my bros,” he wrote back. Enough said.

And so he helped us locate three of the places these lovelorn men are taking their photographs with large cats.

For a Religious Tiger Experience

The Tiger Temple Tour is pretty much the Sam’s Club for tiger-petting pictures. Want to pose with a baby tiger? An adult tiger? Feed a tiger out of a baby bottle? Wash a tiger? Walk down a babbling brook next to a very large tiger? Tiger Temple has you covered. Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, a Theravada Buddhist forest temple in Western Thailand close to the border with Myanmar, is a sanctuary for a herd of animals, included tame tigers. Once a day, the tigers strut around the grounds, looking to be pet by visitors.


(Courtesy: Tiger Temple)

Their website warns visitors: “Do not wear red/orange color clothes.” Obviously this is so that you will not be mistaken for a tiger. Prices range from 3,700 Baht ($114) per person, for two people to tour the temple and pat a tiger, to 14,450 Baht ($446) per person, for the full-tiger experience. This includes breakfast with the monks, feeding and training of the tiger cubs, preparing adult tigers for showering, and feeding and walking the tigers into the canyon for their morning exercise and a refreshing swim.

The Quick and Dirty Tiger Experience

In Chiang Mai, the tiger hot-spot of Tiger Kingdom offers quick and easy tiger snugs and photos. Their website wants to assure visitors that they “love tigers.” They want you to know that tigers “are not as aggressive as you think.” And most importantly, “at Tiger Kingdom none of the tigers are drugged or tranquilized.” Payment here is a sliding scale based on size and the time spent in the tiger enclosure. Ten minutes with a newborn tiger is about $20. You pay more for their innate cuteness. For $15, you get a whole 15 minutes with one of the larger beasts. There are no rules on how many tigers you can play with. If you want to spend the big bucks, you can play musical chairs with the tigers all day long.


(Courtesy: Tiger Kingdom) 

Why Not a Lion Instead of a Tiger?

Argentina’s Zoo Lujan is often called the world’s most dangerous zoo, mainly for their liberal policies regarding how close you can get to the animals. The Buenos Aires zoo—whose logo is a man squatting next to a feline—allows visitors to frolic with lions and bears and cheetahs for $130 Argentine pesos (about $25.30).