Officials seize tigers from Thai temple

A tiger yawns before the officials start moving them from Thailands controversial Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi provinceImage copyright
Reuters

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Animals rights groups accused the temple of being involved in the black-market animal trade

Wildlife authorities in Thailand have begun removing tigers from a Buddhist temple, after accusations of wildlife trafficking and animal abuse.

Three of the 137 tigers at the temple in Kanchanaburi province were moved on Monday. The 1,000-personnel operation will last all week.

The monks, who deny all allegations, resisted at first but gave in when presented with a court order.

The tigers are being taken to animal refuges, authorities said.

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AFP

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Anaesthetic syringes were prepared by veterinarians as they got ready to remove the tigers from an enclosure

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AFP

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Wildlife officials carried the tigers on stretchers after they were anesthetised

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EPA

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The Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi province west of Bangkok is a popular tourist destination

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Reuters

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The animals will be taken to three government animal refuges across Thailand

The Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Tiger Temple, a popular tourist destination, has for years resisted official efforts to take away the animals.

Visitors are able to feed the animals and take photographs for a fee, despite the temple being banned from charging admission fees or money.

“We have a court warrant this time, unlike previous times when we only asked for the temple’s co-operation, which did not work,” Adisorn Nuchdamrong, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks told AFP.

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AFP

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The temple recently made plans to operate as a zoo, but proved unsuccessful when the government determined that the operators failed to secure sufficient resources

Monks at the controversial temple have been accused of illegally breeding tigers and animal trafficking.

A previous raid in February 2015 revealed jackals, hornbills and Asian bears kept at the sanctuary without the necessary permits.



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