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Tiger Farm

Todd talks with Paul about his time at a Tiger farm where people interact with tigers.

Paul: Hey, Todd. I saw your pictures with you and some tigers. Where's that from?

Todd: That was at a place in Southeast Asia. It was in Thailand, actually.

Paul: All right.

Todd: Yeah, it was pretty cool. I was a bit dubious of it. I mean, I saw the little advertisement of Tiger World and Tiger Zoo, or whatever it was. I went and took a tuk-tuk out there and checked it out, and it was pretty cool.

Paul: How are the tigers treated within the zoo, the Tiger Land?

Todd: Well, it's actually quite weird, in that it was like a zoo but you can go in and like touch the tigers -

Paul: Oh, wow!

Todd: --and be around the tigers. And so, they seem to have a pretty big area to roam around, and I guess they have a pretty good life. I guess the deal is that they were all raised in captivity, so they kind of give you a little spiel when you go in, and they explain that the tigers are raised in captivity, just like you would raise cows or pigs or horses or anything like that. So they're bred for the farm, and even though they're still really deadly, basically, you know, that's why they're there, because they were bred to be there.

Paul: Bred to entertain.

Todd: Yeah, kind of. It's a bit odd. You do feel a little strange, because you figure that they're tigers, and they should be out in the wild. But then again, you know, it's an opportunity for people to actually see these beautiful things.

Paul: Yeah, it's an opportunity. I guess it's an opportunity also to learn about these creatures, which would are found in the wild.

Todd: Right.

Paul: Okay, wow, I mean, you're really close to those tigers, Todd. I mean, how did you feel? Were you scared?

Todd: Actually, yeah. I mean, it's a little unsettling. Even with the little babies, you figure, - Wow! you know, or the young ones, that they are still quite big, you know. When they lie down on the ground, the full length of their body, even for a young tiger, is about the size of a human.

Paul: Wow.

Todd: And you realize that, you know, they could eat anything, so it's a bit scary.

Paul: Yeah, you could have been eaten at any point.

Todd: Well, it definitely crosses your mind. And you ask them about that, because naturally, everybody's worried about security, safety. And they say that, you know, their deal is that they know the tigers' behavior down cold, and that they know that as long as you feed the tigers early in the morning, and then they feed them again at night, then during the day, they just want to lay and sleep. They have no desire to go hunting or anything like that. So that's why they're actually safe to be around in the afternoon hours.

Paul: Ah, they're very like placid by that point.

Todd: Right. And they also say that because the tigers are born in captivity that they're used to being around humans from birth. So ever since they're little cubs, you know, they've had human handlers. They've had humans around them, so they're highly familiar and comfortable with humans touching them, being around them. So that's how they can, you know, allow people to be around them and keep it safe. But it still does cross your mind.

Paul: Yeah, I'm sure it does, especially if you're a parent with a child, because obviously, you know, children will be a quite nice meal for a tiger.

Todd: Actually, you know what? I think, looking back, you couldn't take children in the cage.

Paul: Ah.

Todd: I think it was almost like an amusement park; you had to be a certain height. So they didn't want you to be---they didn't want anything small that would just be too tempting for the tiger.

Paul: Yeah.

Todd: Although that seems kind of strange, because there were really small, petite women that were going in the cage.

Paul: I see.

Todd: So there's not that much of a difference there.

Paul: No, I don't suppose so. I guess, if it's based on height.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

check (it) out


I decided to check it out.

When we check something out, that means we have a look to see what it's like.  Notice the following:

  1. Hey, check out my new laptop.
  2. Let's check out the new dance club tomorrow night.



They kind of give you a spiel.

A spiel is a short speech or presentation usually to get us to buy something. Notice the following:

  1. I've heard that spiel a thousand times.
  2. The writing workshop was actually a spiel to sell English books.

raised in captivity


The tigers are raised in captivity.

An animal raised in captivity is most often born in a zoo.  Notice the following:

  1. It's often impossible to return an animal raised in captivity to the wild.
  2. The pandas were raised in captivity.



That experience was unsettling.

Something that is unsettling makes us feel worried of upset.  Notice the following:

  1. The news of the Tsunami was quite unsettling.
  2. Changing schools can be quite unsettling for kids.

crosses the mind


The thought crosses your mind.

Something that crosses the mind is a quick thought.  Notice the following:

  1. The danger briefly crossed his mind.
  2. His name?  It never crossed my mind to ask.

Vocabulary Quiz

check out • spiel • captivity
unsettling • cross
  1. I'm tired of hearing your same old .
  2. I want to the latest cellphone model.
  3. Did it ever your mind that the plant could be poisonous?
  4. I had an dream last night.
  5. Certain animals are raised in to protect their species.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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