Reports Trends

Monk nabbed trying to flee ‘tiger selfie’ temple with illegal skins and fangs

tiger skins

A monk from a disgraced Thai ‘tiger temple’ has been caught trying to flee with valuable skins and fangs.

The Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua temple – also known as Tiger Temple – in Kanchanaburi, west of Bangkok, was raided on Monday after accusations of severe animal abuse.

‘Today we found tiger skins and amulets in a car which was trying to leave the temple,’ Adisorn Noochdumrong, deputy director of Thailand’s parks department, said.

Tiger skin and bone products are laid out on a table by National Parks and Wildlife officers at the "Tiger Temple," in Saiyok district in Kanchanaburi province, west of Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, June 2, 2016. Thai police say they stopped a truck carrying two tiger skins and other animal parts as it was leaving the temple, two staff members were arrested and charged with possession of illegal wildlife. (AP Photo) THAILAND OUT
Tiger bone products were also seized during the raid

During a further search of monks’ quarters, Adisorn added, officials found two full-body tiger skins, about 10 fangs, and dozens of pieces of tiger fur.

Conservationists and rights groups have also long accused the temple of acting as a secret tiger farm, making huge profits by flogging the tigers and their parts on the black market.

Tiger body parts are sometimes used in Chinese medicines, or are sold as good luck charms.

KANCHANABURI, THAILAND - JUNE 1: Thai DNP officers load a tiger on a truck at the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Tiger Temple on June 1, 2016 in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand. Wildlife authorities in Thailand raided a Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi province where 137 tigers were kept, following accusations the monks were illegally breeding and trafficking endangered animals. Forty of the 137 tigers were rescued by Tuesday from the country's infamous 'Tiger Temple' despite opposition from the temple authorities. (Photo by Dario Pignatelli/Getty Images)
Some 84 tigers have been rescued so far
KANCHANABURI, THAILAND - June 1, 2016: Thai DNP officers carry a sedated tiger outside its cage at the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Tiger Temple on June 1, 2016, in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand. Wildlife authorities in Thailand raided a Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi province where 137 tigers were kept, following accusations the monks were illegally breeding and trafficking endangered animals. Forty of the 137 tigers were rescued by Tuesday from the country's infamous 'Tiger Temple' despite opposition from the temple authorities. ***BESTPIX***
Thai officers carry sick tigers out of the temple

The temple has been popular with westerners for decades, visited by tourists wanting to take ‘tiger selfies’ with big cats that animal rights campaigners warn are routinely sedated.

Since the initial raid, around 40 dead tiger cubs have been discovered stuffed in a freezer in a kitchen, while more than 100 adult cats were found in poor conditions.

Officers say they have removed 84 tigers this week so far, and are transferring them to nearby breeding centres.

No charges have been filed against the temple yet, because the case is still under investigation.

However, the temple denies allegations of trafficking.

 




Loading...


364 Total Views 2 Views Today

About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field