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All 137 tigers removed from Tiger Temple of Thailand

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发表于 2016-1-17 22:10:43 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
All 137 tigers removed from Tiger Temple of Thailand
(Xinhua)    10:42, June 05, 2016



Two tiger cub carcasses soaked in chemicals are displayed after investigators found them in Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, or "Tiger Temple", in Kanchanaburi Province, central Thailand, June 3, 2016. (Xinhua/Li Mangmang)

The last batch of a total of 137 tigers from the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province of Thailand were relocated on Saturday, putting an end to the 6-day long tiger relocation while 5 suspects including 3 monks are now charged with wildlife possession.

Thai wildlife officials from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation(DNP) removed the last batch of nine tigers from the famous tourist site to a breeding center in western Rachaburi province, putting an end to the six -day long relocation of tigers which was first resisted by temple operators.

The last tiger being dealt with is a male one named Sayfa (thunderbolt), with a weight of 300 kg.

The last batch of tigers are about 8 to 12 years old, and the hot weather made the relocation slower, Patrapol Maneeorn, wildlife veterinarian of DNP, told Xinhua on Friday.

According to the DNP, all 137 tigers are now in two breeding centers in Rachaburi province. Those Indochinese tigers that shared the same subspecies with wild tigers living in Thailand will be released to nature habitat later, while Bengal tigers will stay.

Other animals including peacocks, dears and wild boars living in the temple will also be relocated accordingly but it takes more time.

Officials have found a lot items made from tiger, bear and other animals in their raid on the zoo-like temple.

Besides the 40 dead cubs found in freezer on Wednesday, about 33 jars with tiger cubs and animal organs in them are found on Thursday.

Patrapol said there are about 27 tiger cubs in these jars, adding that it remains to be examined what is the purpose to do this.

He and another official opened one of the jars and formalin can be smelt at scene

On Thursday, wildlife officials intercepted a monk with two laymen in a truck leaving the temple and confiscated two full-length tiger skins, about 700 amulets made from tiger parts and 10 tiger fangs in the van, reports said.

A lots of amulets made from tiger parts are also found Friday in a van near the bedroom of the abbot, Phra Sutthi Sarathera, or Luang Ta Chan, who left the temple for Bangkok last Sunday but his whereabouts remain unknown.

Officials also found plastic bottles and labels saying "deer antler velvet supplement"earlier.

Since tourists around the world visited the temple, so it's hard to say where these products are sold to, said Adisorn Noochdumrong, deputy director general of DNP.

Skeletons of an Asian golden cat and a leopard are found Friday near the bedroom of the abbot, along with Stuffed Asian golden cat, leopard and Asian black bear, Thai media Thairath reported.

According to Adisorn, the wildlife department will not revoke the zoo license recently issued to the temple.

But the license may be revoked if anyone of the Luang Ta Bua Foundation, which asked for the license, is found guilty of animal trafficking, said Teunchai Noochdumrong, an official in charge of wildlife protection of DNP, adding that DNP has talked with Thai police commissioner Chaktip Chaijinda about the case.

"We are tracking on this topic very closely and will check if all wildlife products that were found in the temple are linked to the international wildlife trade or being stored for what purpose," Chakthip said on Friday.

Three monks and two laymen, some of whom were in the truck with 2 tiger skins, are now charged with illegal wildlife possession.

The temple is very famous among tourists around the world. There is a documentary called "The Tiger and the Monk", telling the story of the "legendary temple where tigers and monks live in harmony".

Adisorn said to Xinhua that they began to suspect the temple of animal trafficking two years ago when news came out that 3 tigers disappeared from the temple.

DNP said in a statement that the reason why they did not act earlier because the wildlife authority has to think about people's feelings as the abbot and the temple is respected by many.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asked people of Thailand to learn from this case through his spokesman on Saturday.

"The people should tell right from wrong based on facts and truth rather than belief...don's draw the conclusion that every monk or every temple is doing good deeds", He said.

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