Tiger Temple in Thailand is finally going down, but it’s not a pretty sight. Over 2000 personnel - vets, police, and military - are engaged in trying to remove the 137 tigers from the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Temple. Authorities have been receiving pressure to shut down the temple (where visitors can cuddle cubs and walks adult tigers on chains for years) due to abuse, malnourishment, and black market connections. Until now the temple has managed to evade government action, but Thailand’s Wildlife Conservation Office recently secured a search warrant for the compound.
When authorities from the Wildlife Conservation Office arrived at the compound on Monday to remove the tigers, they found dozens of tigers roaming loose around the compound - supposedly set loose on purpose to obstruct their work. After a half-day standoff with temple officials, they were able to sedate and safely remove only 8 cats. An update Wednesday morning from involved parties stated that they’ve managed to capture and remove 40 cats from the facility so far.
What’s worse, though, is what they found in a freezer inside the compound - the bodies of 40 tiger cubs, along with pieces of other animals. Tiger Temple has long been accused of selling tiger body parts to the black market (after all, the cats are allowed to breed freely and there are always cubs for visitors to cuddle, yet the number of adult cats never increased at the same rate) and this seems to provide more proof for that horrible reality.