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Officials seize tigers from controversial Thai temple

BBC Online

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 1000-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.

Veterinarians prepare anaesthetic syringes as they prepare to remove tigers from an enclosure at the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Tiger TempleImage copyrightAFP
Image captionAnaesthetic syringes were prepared by veterinarians as they got ready to remove the tigers from an enclosure
Thai wildlife officials carry a tiger on a stretcher as they remove it from an enclosure after it was anaesthetisedImage copyrightAFP
Image captionWildlife officials carried the tigers on stretchers after they were anesthetised
Thai National Park officials move a tiger after it was tranquilized to be moved from the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand, 30 May 2016.

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 cooperation, which did not work,” Adisorn Nuchdamrong, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks told AFP.

 

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