Tags: tigers | seized | thailand | monks | temple

Tigers Seized in Thailand: 40 Taken From Temple, 100 to Go

Image: Tigers Seized in Thailand: 40 Taken From Temple, 100 to Go

A sedated tiger in a cage at the "Tiger Temple" in Thailand. (AP Photo)

By    |   Tuesday, 31 May 2016 12:24 PM

Authorities have seized dozens of tigers from a Buddhist temple in Thailand over concerns about wildlife trafficking at the popular tourist destination.

By Tuesday, 40 tigers had been taken from the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Tiger Temple west of Bangkok that promoted itself as a wildlife sanctuary and home of more than 130 tigers, Reuters reported.

The seizures were expected to continue for a week, the BBC reported.

The temple was investigated on suspicions of wildlife trafficking and animal abuse after activists accused monks of illegally breeding tigers and said some tigers appeared drugged, Reuters said.

The Department of National Parks has been trying to get state control of the tigers since 2001.

"We have a court warrant this time, unlike previous times, when we only asked for the temple's cooperation, which did not work," Adisorn Nuchdamrong, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, told Reuters. "International pressure concerning illegal wildlife trafficking is also part of why we're acting now."

About 300 government employees, including 80 veterinarians, were at the site, The Associated Press reported.

The animals were being taken to government shelters.

The monks have denied all accusations. They initially resisted the seizure effort but relented when faced with a court order.

The Ayurveda Buddhist monks who run the temple got their first tiger in 1999, CBS News reported. Recent plans to operate as a zoo fell through after the government determined the monks failed to secure sufficient resources.

Twitter users supported the seizure.

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Authorities have seized dozens of tigers from a Buddhist temple in Thailand over concerns about wildlife trafficking at the popular tourist destination.
tigers, seized, thailand, monks, temple
340
2016-24-31
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 12:24 PM
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