Monday, 24 September 2012

Tiger temple under investigation as Thai authorities clamp down on captive tigers

Tiger Temple under investigation
September 2012. Thai authorities have swooped in on captive tiger owners in two locations to see if laws had been broken, resulting in one arrest in one case and a confrontation that could lead to further action or lawsuits in another. Both actions demonstrate the serious challenges facing Thai authorities in dealing with the country's large captive tiger population.
Four tigers confiscated
In Pathumthani, two adult tigers and two tiger cubs were confiscated in a raid on a private apartment. Thai Nature Crime Police conducted the raid after intelligence showed that the owners were involved in the illegal wildlife trade. The tigers were sent to a government care center.
Tiger Temple
The temple is already mired in controversy after the Sun newspaper published a video showing the abuse that goes on at the temple, and how the tigers are baited and treated for the ‘benefit' of tourists. 

The temple, a popular tourist destination, has seen its tiger population grown from 7 to 100 in the past eight years, raising questions about the sustainability of the temple's tiger management, and where the tigers are being sourced.

Responding to this latest media coverage the Chief Executive of Care for the Wild International, Philip Mansbridge, said: "As we recently highlighted in the launch of our new campaign, the Tiger Temple is just one of thousands of examples of how wildlife is threatened and abused around the world to provide so called entertainment for tourists. The Tiger Temple like many other animal attractions claims that it is a wildlife sanctuary, when in fact the animals in its care are subject to appalling conditions, inappropriate food, no real veterinary care and regular abuse to generate money from tourists.

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