The temple starting rearing tigers in 1999 when an abandoned tiger cub was brought in. Soon local villagers began bringing more cubs, usually ones whose mothers had been killed by poachers.
As of 2007, over 21 cubs have been born at the temple, and the total number of tigers is about 12 adult tigers and 4 cubs. As of late March 2011, the total number of tigers living at the temple has risen to almost 90.
Tiger Temple controversy:
The tiger temple has been the subject of controversy on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree message boards, with accusations that the tigers are drugged and that the temple itself is a rip-off. Read the board and decide for yourself.
There has been a lot of controversy about the Tiger Temple culminating in a critical report from Care For The Wild International, accusing the temple of mistreating the tigers and illegal tiger trafficking. National Geographic provides a good summary and overview here.
You definitely want to weigh up these accusations before you decide to visit the temple.
Story by Animal Planet
Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno Forest Monastery
Saiyok District, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand