Wildlife officials, police and soldiers raided Kanchanaburi’s infamous “Tiger Temple” yesterday and impounded more than 100 tigers and hundreds of birds they said were being traded illegally.
Long accused by animal rights activists of being complicit in trafficking the very wildlife it claims to protect, the Tiger Temple and its abbot were uncooperative with inspectors on Monday, who returned yesterday with soldiers, police and a search warrant.
Authorities said the raid was prompted by complaints the temple was engaging in illegal wildlife trade. The seized birds, including 38 hornbills, will be taken to a wildlife research in Ratchaburi for care, according to Thai PBS.
Authorities are still seeking two rare foxes seen Monday in cages which were removed by the time they returned Tuesday.
For 15 years the Tiger Temple has billed itself as a sanctuary for tigers where tourists can touch and play with them.
In 2008, Care for the Wild International released the results of a three-year study of the temple which concluded it trafficked the animals, abused them and did nothing meaningful to promote their conservation.