A tourist provoked outraged after taking pictures of herself grabbing a tiger’s testicles.
Khun Waraschaya took the selfies at the Tiger Kingdom zoo in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand on August 26.
Pictures of the stunt emerged online and she was criticised by angry locals, who accused her of “humiliating” the animal.
One person wrote: ”This is so rude. The tiger did not allow you to touch his privates. You have no right to do that.”
Another said: “This is dangerous. If the tiger had reacted angrily it could have attacked you.”
Waraschaya defended herself and insisted she was an animal lover.
Pirom Cahntama, head of the facility’s zookeepers, said that staff are trained to take care of guests and tigers and that they monitor interactions closely.
Pirom said: “We do not allow tourists to grab the tigers’ testicles but they are allowed to touch any part of the animal’s body as long as our specialists are present.
“From now on, we will make sure that no visitor will ever be able to touch this part of a tiger’s body again.”
He added that the zoo specialists regularly examine the tigers’ genitals and other parts of its body.
Back in May, the Daily Star revealed there are hundreds of Joe Exotic-style Tiger Kings across the UK.
Authorities have confirmed at least 250 wild cats are being kept at private residences after The Born Free Foundation submitted Freedom of Information requests to each council in England, Scotland and Wales.
And animal rights activists fear the number of animals kept by the public will soar in the wake of the controversial Netflix show Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness.
It tells the true story of Joe Exotic, who paid a hitman to try to kill a rival big cat owner.
Dr Chris Draper, head of animal welfare and captivity for the charity Born Free, said of the situation closer to home: “The keeping of wild animals as pets is a growing concern.
“The widespread use of the internet has made it easier than ever to ‘order’ or purchase a wild animal without clarification as to where it has come from or how it should be cared for.”
Under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act of 1976, anyone in Britain can keep a dangerous wild animal as long as they get a licence from their council.
The application merely requires them to demonstrate that their animals are properly contained and not at risk of escape.
The Born Free Foundation is calling for a review of the legislation covering the keeping of wild animals as pets, including the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.