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News > Alumnae news > Alumna Tanya Erzindioglu raising funds for tiger welfare charity

Alumna Tanya Erzindioglu raising funds for tiger welfare charity

Alumna Tanya Erzindioglu shares her inspiring work with For Tigers a charity working to improve the welfare of tigers in captivity in Thailand.
Tiger
Tiger

Following her time at St Marys, Tanya gained an MSc in Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law from the University of Edinburgh and from 2010, Tanya spent six years working at Tiger Temple, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

During her time at Tiger Temple she worked towards improvements in the tigers' welfare through implementing an enrichment programme, pushing for further enclosures to be built and working with the veterinary team to ensure proper health care was given. At the same time, she investigated other Thai facilities in order to get a full understanding of the welfare issues in the country.

When the Tiger Temple closed in 2016, the Thai government confiscated 146 tigers, relocating them to two government facilities. The facilities were unprepared for this large number of tigers and have struggled to adequately look after them. Over the past 6 years, 80+ tigers have died due to substandard living conditions. In response, Tanya, alongside other ex-staff and volunteers, began raising funds for the Temple tigers, leading to the foundation of For Tigers in 2018.

Over the years, Tanya has led fundraising events in Cambridge, but in 2022 - the Year of the Tiger - she is looking to make the event even bigger.

As Tanya describes:

"After the removal of the Temple tigers to government facilities it was immediately apparent that the government facilities were not sufficient to maintain captive tigers with a high standard of welfare. We began a fundraising campaign to fund and build enclosures.

"Additionally, we began visiting tiger facilities around Thailand documenting the tiger living conditions. We quickly realised that the vast majority of the facilities were far below international welfare standards and the issue was bigger than just the government facilities. We identified captive tiger welfare in Thailand as a niche area where no other NGO was operating. Thus, For Tigers was created to raise awareness and educate the public on these issues while also working with facilities to change and improve."

 

Over the years, Tanya has led fundraising events in Cambridge, but in 2022 - the Year of the Tiger - she is looking to raise funds for five tigers that still have no access to enclosures.

As Tanya states:

"We're currently fundraising to build the last five enclosures for five tigers currently living in small 10x4m cages which do not meet their mental and physical needs. Friday, 29th July, was International Tiger Day, so, as part of our raising awareness of tiger-tourism issues in Thailand, as well as fundraising a small group of walkers, walked from Lion Yard, Cambridge out to Shepreth Wildlife Park. In addition, another St Mary's alum, Tunya Chinpilas, organised a parallel walk around Lumpini Park, Bangkok to raise awareness and fundraise. Currently, we're a third of the way toward our goal and look forward to getting these tigers into spacious enclosures and enjoying the life they deserve."

If you want to learn more about this charity or would like to contact Tanya or Tunya please do contact Emma Hanbury on ehanbury@stmaryscambridge.co.uk.

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