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Update on the Tiger Temple Confiscations

The current confiscation of the illegally held tigers at Thailand’s Tiger Temple is becoming more and more peculiar.

It has been proven on numerous occasions that the Tiger Temple has been involved in the illegal trade of at least three tigers. It has been confirmed that these three tigers disappeared from the Tiger Temple.

Why has the law not been properly enforced? Why have no prosecutions been made against the abbot of the Tiger Temple and its many board members? These criminals will continue to exploit and abuse the many animals they keep imprisoned.

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The authorities have agreed to confiscate 5 tigers a month meaning that even if these tigers were prevented from breeding it would still take almost three years to remove all the tigers. During this period the Tiger Temple would continue to exploit the remaining tigers, making more and more money from tourists.

We have recently received some interesting information that all the 10 tigers that have been confiscated so far are elderly males, of no value to breeding nor cute or cuddly to be used as tourist photo props. It seems that the younger tigers and females of breeding age are being left at the temple. Further breeding is likely to occur, further exacerbating the illegal, cruel, and exploitative abuse of these tigers. When a female tiger gives birth, her cubs are soon removed from her care influencing her to return to a reproductive state, she then may give birth up to 3 times a year. Is this the reason why NGO’s and media have been kept away during these confiscations? Why are the tigers only being taken away at night?

Why allow the continued breeding of inbred hybrid illegally held tigers? As we have reiterated in this past, they offer no vale to the conservation of wild tigers and definitely not the conservation of Thailand’s endangered tiger population.

The Tiger Temple is currently in the process of applying for a zoo license, if granted the Tiger Temple will be able to continue the majority of its abusive practices while seen to be abiding by the law. Why should the authorities abide by the current laws and refuse this application?

  • The illegal trading and trafficking of wildlife is not permitted by zoos.
  • The refusal to abide by the current laws and the lack of cooperation with authorities, preventing the enforcement of the law.

WFFT has advised the authorities not to issue a zoo permit. If a zoo license is issued it will be an insult to us all and an embarrassment to the relevant authorities.

WFFT hopes to see the relevant laws enforced properly and the confiscations of all the tigers. We are willing to support the authorities and assist in providing support, whether that be funding or technical support, in the care and management of these confiscated tigers.

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