This is an authorized repost from Big Cat Awareness.
Hey all, I’ve been wanting to collect a roundup of the last year+ with regards to the Temple, and what a rollercoaster it has been. Here’s your one-stop post on the major events that led to the Temple’s final downfall.
Trigger Warning: All of these articles may have mentions of animal death, abuse, and may contain imagery that is disturbing.
- February 5th, 2015: Thailand’s famous Tiger Temple raided for suspected wildlife trafficking. Suspicions of illegal trade begin gaining traction.
- February 5th, 2015: Busted! Tiger Temple Thailand Raided for Suspected Wildlife Trafficking. Thai government makes the decision to impound the temple’s tigers.
- April 28th, 2015: Tiger Temple Is Banned From Charging Tourists to Visit the Temple’s Big Cats. Thai government decides to allow temple to keep their cats, but bans them from breeding or charging an entry fee to profit off the cats.
- January 21st, 2016: Exclusive: Tiger Temple Accused of Supplying Black Market. NatGeo runs a report of missing and traded tigers, microchips that had been cut out of that cats, and a tiger found in a freezer.
- January 26th, 2016: Thailand’s ‘Tiger Temple’ says it will sue National Geographic over trafficking report. Temple threatens to sue over NatGeo report of wildlife trafficking, calling it libel.
- March 3rd, 2016: Thailand’s infamous Tiger Temple loses its cats. Thai government initially rejects the temple’s application for a zoo permit(made in February 2016) and makes the decision to begin removing the cats. A plan is set to remove 5 tigers a month.
- April 27th, 2016: Controversial tiger temple in Thailand gets zoo license. Tiger Temple suddenly receives the zoo permit they applied for in February 2016, allowing them to operate as a zoo until 2021.
- April 27th, 2016: Department defends Tiger Temple zoo licence [sic]. Granting of license met with immediate opposition, Parks Department defends the issuing but states “The department will immediately revoke the licence [sic] if the temple or people from Tiger Temple Co are found guilty of wildlife crimes.”
- May 30th, 2016: OFFICERS ENTER TIGER TEMPLE TO BEGIN REMOVING TIGERS. Thai government officials arrive at the temple to begin removal of all the tigers after the facility ignored earlier agreement of zoo license that banned them from breeding or charging admission. The temple initially barred their entry and had a standoff at their gates with officials. Finally, officials had to leave and return with a search warrant to enter the temple and remove the tigers.
- May 31st, 2016: At ‘Tiger Temple,’ Thai Officials Seize 33 of the Big Cats. Thai government receives court approval to remove all cats from temple.
- May 31st, 2016: ‘Mayhem’ as authorities try to capture 137 tigers at Thai temple. Temple makes the removal of tigers as difficult as possible by setting them loose within the compound, even with tourists inside.
- June 1st, 2016: Thai Officials Find 40 Dead Cubs in Freezer at Tiger Temple. [GRAPHIC] The title speaks for itself. Some 20 more cubs were found preserved in jars.
- June 2nd, 2016: Thailand Tiger Temple monk held 'for smuggling’. A monk and 2 other men are caught fleeing the temple with “two full-length tiger skins, about 700 amulets made from tiger parts, and 10 tiger fangs.”
- June 7th, 2016: Thai Police Find Tiger Slaughterhouse in Temple Probe. Officials uncover what may have been a slaughterhouse for the temple.
- June 9th, 2016: Thai Tiger Temple denies it abused, traded cats. Despite all this, the temple still somehow offers a very weak defense of what has been found.
More to be added as this situation continues to develop