The beautiful big cats are pictured at the controversial Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, where around 100 live alongside Buddhist monks. Many were brought to the reserve as cubs and have grown up around humans. But even so these pictures show just how remarkably close these fearsome creatures can get to their keepers.
Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, is a Theravada Buddhist temple in western Thailand that was founded in 1994 as a forest temple and sanctuary for wild animals, among them several tigers, the majority of which are Indochinese tigers. Founded in 1994, the Tiger Temple has attracted criticism from some wildlife groups who claim it is an illegal breeding facility and that the tigers are not sufficiently cared for.
The first cub arrived in 1999 after her mother was killed by poachers nearby. She died, but others have since arrived and the tiger population has gradually grown. The centre has become a tourist attraction where visitors can pay a fee to have their picture taken alongside the animals.