With the recent incidents of a gorilla named Harambe and two lions being killed due to human negligence, another shocking and gruesome crime has been discovered in “Tiger Temple,” in Kanchanaburi Province, west of Bangkok.
The authorities have found 40 dead tiger cubs, together with a deer’s antler, a body of a Southeast Asian bearcat and a cowhorn, all being kept inside a freezer.
The famous temple has been receiving complaints and warnings both from the tourists and the government due to reports that some of the tourists were being attacked by the tigers during a walk with them. Walking and posing for a picture with the tigers are part of the attraction in the Tiger Temple. However, several reports have surfaced stating that the tigers attacked the tourists because they, themselves, are being mistreated by their keepers.
The incident is now being investigated by the Wildlife Conservation Office and they are trying to figure out the motives behind storing of the dead bodies of tiger cubs. They are also not ruling out the possibility that the keepers might be involved in the smuggling of the carcasses.
WCO’s director Teunjai Noochdumrong also said that the tiger cubs’ bodies are one of the strongest evidence that the temple didn’t adhere to their agreement of informing them whenever there are newborn cubs inside the facility. They also suggest the idea of taking the license of the temple to keep animals inside their compound. As of the moment, they are studying the option of filing a legal suit against the management of the temple.
Following the discovery of the dead cubs, the WCO leads the efforts of retrieving the tigers being kept in the temple. However, on the day of the tiger rescue they found that some of the tigers were out of their cages and roaming around the park. The rescuers believe that the keepers did it on purpose to delay the rescuing of the tigers. Fortunately, the staff were able to rescue 52 tigers out of 137 being housed in the temple.
WCO also said that the rescue of the tigers should have been carried out a long time ago and Yowalak Thiarachow, Country Director, WWF-Thailand encourages the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to permanently take the custody of the tigers from the temple. Also, other facilities should also be investigated to make sure that they are not involved in any wildlife trafficking and maltreatment of the animals.
The management of the tiger temple said that they are going to follow the rules of relocating the tigers but they reiterated that this will have negative on their tourism.