Outside of Bangkok, at the famed Tiger Temple, 5 tigers were removed by government officials. This was the first move by authorities to take away these big cats from monks facing wildlife trafficking accusations.
To remove these Tigers, representatives of the Department of National Parks in Thailand used tranquilizers to sedate these large felines and place them in two commercial big rigs. They were later transported to a Wildlife conservation centers in Ratchubari Province.
So why all the sudden attention?
Well apparently Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yanasampanno has been earning 100 million baht per year in tourism over the last decade. So how much is 100 million Bhat? Try $2.8 million! Over the past year the Tiger Temple has been under scrutiny for it care of the Tigers.
Back in 2014, it was noticed that three of the 147 tigers had disappeared. Since then the Temple has been accused of rapid breeding techniques and selling Tigers illegally.
This story has brought a lot of attention to the operating procedures of the Temple. An investigation by an Australian activist group, Conservation and Environmental Education for Life, says it has evidence that Tigers have been taken to and from the temple illegally since 2004. This conservation group also released its findings to National Geographic for a possible magazine feature.
So are the accusations true?
Well it is worth noting that the Tiger Temple has a lawsuit against the Parks and Wildlife Department and is seeking $174 million baht in proposed damages. The story seems to be far from over.
For now there is currently 147 tigers that reside at the renowned Tiger Temple. Regardless of your position on Tigers, I think most people would agree; if you haven’t been Thailand is worth seeing!