It’s Whine Wednesday again and today it’s appropriate to talk about something serious: Animal Cruelty at various tourist attractions in Thailand, especially the famous Tiger Temples.
A raid at the infamous Tiger Temple which in the animals being taken away to be cared for in other institutions also revealed 40 dead Tiger cubs.
The controversial Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi has long been a target of animal welfare groups and even neutral media outlets who reported about the horrible conditions the animals live in. The findings are shocking and draw additional criticism to the matter why religious institutions such as these buddhist temples and their monks are constantly being treated as being above the law in Thailand.
All of their privileges ran out though when officials arrived with a court order to put and end to this cruel place.
Thai Media outlet Khaosod English (access here) reported about it.
At least 40 dead tiger cubs were discovered this morning inside the controversial Tiger Temple.
Rows of cubs’ bodies that look freshly killed are lined up in photos, as reports of other disturbing discoveries of other parts of animals, including some protected species, are made.
The first image was posted to Twitter by Dario Pignatelli, a Bangkok-based photojournalist. Speaking by telephone, he said he took the photo at around 10:30am, and counted at least 40 bodies.
Wildlife activists have long accused the Tiger Temple of animal abuse and trafficking tigers and their body parts. The temple has vehemently denied the allegations.
If the tiger cubs indeed turn out to have just been killed, it would support accusations it was knowingly engaged in illegal, for-profit breeding and trafficking of the animals. The discovery came on the third day of a monumental operation by wildlife authorities to remove all of the 147 tigers from the temple, which has kept the animals illegally and profited from them for years.
The dead cubs were found stacked in a freezer vault where food for the tigers such as frozen chickens is kept, according to regional wildlife official Yanyong Lekavichit, who is in charge of the ongoing raid.
“This is abnormal,” said Yanyong, head of Protected Area Regional Office 3, adding that his team is investigating. “We will find out who’s responsible for the cubs,” he said.
The management of the temple, known officially as Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Yanasampanno, had repeatedly resisted efforts by the Department of National Park to take the tigers away, and only relented on Monday when the officials showed up with a court order.
Just back in January John wrote about the horrible Tiger Temples (see here) and since then there have been allegations after allegations which eventually culminated in the action we’ve seen this week.
It’s especially pathetic that all this goes on at a place of worship. It shows once again that these monks are nothing but scam artists who disregard all aspects of decency. I would be surprised if there will be any consequences for them or the abbot of the temple. Religious figures in Thailand almost never face any noteworthy legal action in a judicial system that is already one of the most corrupt on the planet. Though the current military government has done a good job cleaning house a little bit.
I’m shocked whenever I see friends of mine visiting these places in Thailand and they go to Elephant Rides, Tiger Temples, Zoos with exotic animals etc. None of these have the best interest of the animals in mind are often they are being treated horrendous. I’m not a big fan of zoos in general, even in the western world but I can just reiterate my pleas to stay away from such tourist ‘attractions’ while visiting Asia.