Tiger Temple abbot attacked by tiger

Tiger Temple abbot attacked by tiger

Abbot attacked while walking one of the temple's 146 tigers back to the compound where they are kept. Abbot had surgery Saturday night & now staying at hospital.

Phra Vissuthisaradhera, or Luangta Chan, sits with one of Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yanasampanno's many tigers in this file photo taken in 2008.


Tiger Temple abbot mauled by tiger

Piyarach Chongcharoen

KANCHANABURI — The abbot of the famed “Tiger Temple” has had three stitches put in his face after being mauled by a Bengal tiger that was reared at the temple on Saturday.

Phra Vissuthisaradhera, better known as Luangta Chan, the abbot of Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yanasampanno, was walking with Hern Fa, a male Bengal tiger aged about seven or eight, holding a lanyard (or leash) attached to Hern Fa’s neck in his hand on a route to “Tiger Island", where tigers are kept inside a compound, when the big cat attacked him.

One of the many tigers at the Tiger Temple.

Pol Col Supitpong Pakjarung, vice president of Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua Foundation, said Luangta Chan was on the left side of Hern Fa and it was believed the tiger may have been startled when the abbot jerked the lanyard.

The 64-year-old monk required three stitches to the cheek near his upper lip. He also sustained a right arm fracture when he fell onto the ground and his arm hit a rock after the tiger’s attack. Earlier reports said the big cat also bit Luangta Chan’s arm.

One of the many tigers at the Tiger Temple.

“It’s initially assumed that the cause was likely due to hot weather which upset the tiger. Plus, with the abbot having been abroad for a long time, the tiger may not have remembered him,” Pol Col Supitpong said.

Luangta Chan underwent an operation on Saturday evening and is now recuperating at Thanakarn Hospital in Muang district. The medical team treating him have not yet allowed him to have visitors, saying the monk suffered chronic diseases of the heart and diabetes, and so they wanted to watch his condition closely, according to Suparb Korfak, chief of Singha sub-district.     


Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua temple is a famous, but controversial, tourist attraction as it has been permitted to take care of the animals even though possession of endangered species in Thailand is illegal.

The Department of  National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) first announced the seizure of 10 tigers kept at the temple about a decade ago because the temple had no permit to keep them.

However, officials then asked the temple to help take care of the animals instead of taking them back.

Department chief Nipon Chotiban said he did not know why the authorities wanted the temple to take care of the tigers. The number of tigers has since increased from 10 to 146. The department recently wanted the temple to hand over the tigers, saying it had no permits to keep them. But Luangta Chan and his disciples are fiercely opposed to the removal of the tigers and other wildlife from the temple.

Last month, forestry officials used a crane to remove six protected Asian black bears held illegally at the temple after 100 monks and disciples blocked the gates to prevent them from taking the bears away.

On April 24, a committee set up to resolve the dispute between the DNP and the temple called a meeting attended by the two sides and concerned agencies.

The meeting agreed that the 146 tigers and their future offspring were state property and could remain at the temple on condition that it must seek a legal permit to operate a zoo. The temple must not exploit the tigers and use legal ways to generate income to feed the animals.

The DNP would also work closely with the temple and its foundation to ensure all activities carried out at the temple were constructive and not breaching the law, the meeting said. 

Last month, forestry officials used a crane to remove six protected Asian black bears held illegally at the temple after 100 monks and disciples blocked the gates to prevent them from taking the bears away.

One of six protected Asian black bears held illegally at the temple, that were removed last month.


Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :


  • abbot (noun): the head monk at a temple - เจ้าอาวาส
  • abroad: in or to a foreign country - ในต่างประเทศ
  • agency (noun): a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานราชการ
  • announce: to tell people something officially, especially about a decision, plans, etc - ประกาศ, แจ้ง, แจ้งให้ทราบ
  • attached (verb): fastened or joined together - ติดกัน, ต่อ, ยึดติด
  • attend: to go to an event, such as a meeting, a show, a sports competition, etc. - เข้าร่วม (ในการประชุม, งานต่าง)
  • authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • block: to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else - ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
  • breach (noun): a failure to follow a law or rule - การละเมิดกฎหมาย, การละเมิดกฎข้อบังคับ
  • cheek: on of the soft parts of your face below your eye and between your mouth and ear - แก้ม
  • chronic (adj): (of a disease, pain or problem) serious and lasting for a long time - เป็นประจำ
  • committee: a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject - คณะกรรมการ
  • compound: an area enclosed by a fence or wall, usually in which people work or live - บริเวณ
  • concerned: interested in something - สนใจ
  • concerned: involved in something, or affected by something - เกี่ยวข้องกับ ที่สัมพันธ์กับ
  • condition: the physical state of a person or animal, especially how healthy they are - อาการ, สุขภาพ
  • conservation (noun): the protection of plants and animals, natural areas, and interesting and important structures and buildings, especially from the damaging effects of human activity - การอนุรักษ์ธรรมชาติ, การป้องกันความสูญเสีย, การสงวนไว้
  • constructive: intended to be useful or helpful - ซึ่งสร้างสรรค์
  • controversial: causing disagreement or disapproval - ความไม่ลงรอยกัน
  • crane: a tall machine used for lifting or moving heavy objects and building tall buildings - ปั้นจั่นยกของหนัก
  • decade: a period of ten years - ทศวรรษ
  • diabetes: a serious medical condition in which your body does not produce enough insulin to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood - โรคเบาหวาน
  • disciple: someone who admires a famous person such as a political or religious leader and is influenced by them - ลูกศิษย์, สานุศิษย์
  • disease (noun): a health problem and problem with a person's body, often caused by an infection, either from a bacteria or virus - โรค
  • dispute: a serious disagreement - ข้อโต้แย้ง
  • due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
  • endangered: at risk or in danger of being harmed, damaged or destroyed - เป็นอันตราย
  • exploit: to treat someone unfairly in order to get some benefit for yourself - หาประโยชน์จาก
  • famed: famous - ซึ่งมีชื่อเสียง
  • famous: very well known - มีชื่อเสียง
  • fiercely: very strongly - อย่างรุนแรง, อย่างดุเดือด
  • forestry: the growing of trees - การทำป่าไม้, วิชาการป่าไม้
  • foundation: an organisation that provides money for things such as medical research or for a charity - มูลนิธิ
  • fracture: a break or crack in something hard, especially a bone - การแตก (โดยเฉพาะกระดูก)
  • generate: to produce - ก่อให้เกิด
  • ground (noun): the surface of the earth - ผิวดิน, ผิวโลก, พื้นดิน, พื้น
  • hand over: to give somebody else control or the responsibility for something - มอบ
  • illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
  • illegally: in a way that is against the law - อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
  • income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้
  • initially: at first - ในเบื้องต้น
  • jerk (verb): to move something suddenly, yank - กระตุก, สะบัด, กระชาก
  • lanyard: a cord or string used to hold something such as a whistle - สายคล้อง, เชือกสั้น ๆ, เชือกเส้นเล็ก
  • leash: a rope or chord that goes around a dogs neck and held by a person to control the dog - เชือกจูงสุนัข, สายรั้ง
  • legal: allowed by the law - ถูกต้องตามกฎหมาย
  • lip: either of the two soft edges at the opening to the mouth - ริมฝีปาก
  • male: belonging to the sex that does not give birth to babies - เพศชาย, เพศผู้, ผู้ชาย
  • maul: (normally of a animal with sharp teeth and claws) to cause serious injury to someone - กัดฉีก, ทำให้บาดเจ็บ, ทำลาย
  • medical: connected with illness and injury and their treatment - ทางการแพทย์, ด้านการแพทย์, เกี่ยวกับการแพทย์
  • neck: the part of the body between the head and the shoulders - ลำคอ (อวัยวะ), คอ
  • officials: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • offspring: the baby or babies of an animal; someone’s child or children - ลูกสัตว์,ทายาท,บุตร,ผู้สืบเชื้อสาย, ลูกสัตว์
  • on condition: if this thing happens, then the other thing can happen .... -
  • operate: to carry out an activity like running a business - ดำเนินการ
  • operation: the process of cutting open a part of a person's body in order to remove or repair a damaged part - การผ่าตัด
  • oppose: to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน
  • permit: an official document that gives you permission to do something - ใบอนุญาต
  • permit (verb): to allow someone to do something - อนุญาต, อนุมัติ, ยินยอม
  • possession: having or owning something - การครอบครอง
  • prevent (verb): to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, ป้องกัน, กัน, กีดขวาง
  • property: things, especially valuable things, that are owned by someone - ทรัพย์สมบัติ, ทรัพย์สิน
  • protect: to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc - ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน
  • protected animal: an animal protected by law, making it illegal to to kill or harm the animal -
  • rear: to care for young children or animals until they are fully grown - เลี้ยงดู
  • recuperate: to get better after being ill or injured - ฟื้นไข้
  • removal: taking something away - การเอาออกจาก
  • remove (verb): to take something away - เอาออก
  • require: to make somebody do or have something, especially because it is necessary according to a particular law or set of rules - บังคับใช้ (กฎหมาย) กำหนด
  • resolve: to solve a problem, or to find a satisfactory way of dealing with it - แก้ไขปัญหา
  • route: the roads, paths, waterways, etc., used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง
  • seizure: the act of taking control of something, especially by using power or force - การบุกเข้ายึด
  • set up: to create something or start it - ตั้งขึ้น
  • species: a kind of animal - พรรณ, ชนิด, ประเภท
  • startled: to be suddenly very surprised in a way that slightly shocks or frightens you - ผวา, ขวัญหาย
  • state: government - รัฐบาล
  • stitch: a short piece of thread, etc. that doctors use to sew the edges of a wound together - รอยเย็บ
  • suffer: to be badly affected by a very difficult or unpleasant situation - ประสบความลำบาก
  • sustain: to experience, injury, damage, loss, etc. - ประสบกับ (ความสูญเสีย การเจ็บป่วย)
  • tourist attraction: somewhere or something tourists can visit that is interesting or enjoyable - แหล่งท่องเที่ยว
  • treat: to provide medical care - รักษา
  • upset: to cause to be very worried, angry or sad about something   - ทำให้วิตกกังวล ทำให้หงุดหงิด
  • wildlife: animals, birds, insects, etc. that are wild and live in a natural environment - สัตว์ป่า
Do you like the content of this article?