Further sustaining worries that a Thai temple tourist-trap is involved in wild animals trafficking, authorities have actually discovered at least 40 dead tiger cubs stored in a freezer at the temple.
Thai cops and wildlife officials started raiding the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Temple in Kanchanaburi province on Monday. During the continuous operations to get rid of 137 threatened tigers species from the complex, Reuters reports that the 40 tiger cub carcasses were found in a freezer in the kitchen location of the Buddhist temple. Along with the cubs, the authorities also discovered the body of a binturong, a safeguarded types often referred to as a "bearcat.".
"We found 40 tiger cubs today, they were aged about one or two days when they died but we don't quite know yet how long they have been dead," cops colonel Bandith Meungsukhum informed AFP New Company.
The temple is now threatened with a new criminal complaint, although they reject any allegations they have actually ever trafficked animals on the black market or were responsible for any animal abuse.
In a just recently reshared statement on its Facebook page, the Tiger Temple Thailand stated: "Cubs do periodically die for numerous reasons, frequently when a new mother lacks the experience to appropriately look after them. In the past, according to Buddhist customs, these tiger cubs were cremated.
" In 2010, the ex-vet of Tiger Temple altered this policy. Rather of cremation, the departed cubs were maintained in containers or kept frozen. We have actually recorded all the deaths from 2010 and have photographic evidence of them still being within the Temple.".
Nonetheless, authorities think something more ominous is afoot. Speaking of the 40 cub bodies, Adisorn Nuchdamrong, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, informed Reuters: "They must be of some value for the temple to keep them. But for what is beyond me.”
It is well documented that tigers parts-- including their furs, organs, blood, to flesh-- are utilized in Chinese medicine.
These raids have actually come at the conclusion of a 15-year cat-and-mouse battle between the temple and the authorities. Although anecdotal reports and animal rights groups have typically forced authorities to investigate the temple on grounds of animal abuse and illegal trafficking, the secular Thai federal government is frequently reluctant when dealing with religious groups.
In spite of the widely-held suspicions, the temple tourist attraction still rakes in an estimated $3 million every year. The temple has actually ended up being a popular tourist attraction for travelers who can pay a cash-only "contribution" for the opportunity to take close-up photographs and selfies with the tigers or perhaps pet and feed them with bottles. However while social media pages for the hashtag #tigertemple were formerly filled with wide-eyed Western travelers presenting with tigers, the feeds are now equipped with images revealing the grim truth behind the selfies and social networks fodder.
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