Thailand Tiger Temple Finally Has Tigers Taken Away After 40 Dead Cubs Discovered
Lifestyle| | By Lauren Boudreau
The Tiger Temple has been one of Thailand’s leading tourist attractions for decades. The temple is actually a Buddhist temple that sought to be a sanctuary for animals, mostly tigers, but its reputation soon turned sour as the monks were accused of mistreating the tigers. For about 15 years, the temple has been shrouded in controversy, but still, the people came, racking up an estimated $3 million a year.
Now, the temple has been officially closed after federal officials found 40 dead tiger cubs in a freezer, according to CNN.
Authorities plan to remove all 137 living tigers in groups over the next few days.
— Matt Rivers (@MattRiversCNN) June 3, 2016
So far, five men have been charged with “possession of endangered animal parts without permission and released on bail,” according to CNN.
Adisorn Noochdumrong, of Thailand’s Department of National Parks, told Reuters, that the dead cubs “must be of some value for the temple.”
“But for what is beyond me.”
If the men are convicted, they face a maximum sentence of four years in prison and/or a $1,100 fine.
CNN also reports the temple’s chief monk’s whereabouts are unknown.
Tuenjai Noochdumrong, Adisorn’s wife and director of Thailand’s Wildlife Conservation Office, said, “We found two pieces of tiger skin, eight to nine pieces of tiger teeth and about 800 to 900 ‘Ta Krud,’ (small containers with tiger skin) and we are currently looking around the temple for more suspicious items.”
Even with all this evidence, the Tiger Temple still denies any wrongdoing.
“The recent discovery of the tiger skins and necklaces comes as a shock to us as well as the rest of the world,” the temple wrote on its Facebook page.
They even claim that the temple is the best place for them: “The welfare of the tigers at the DNP facility is well below that at the Tiger Temple.”
Commenters do not agree: “Aren’t you the place that abuses these animals in the first place?”
Hopefully, the tigers will be able to find peace away from such conditions.