Tigers seized from temple in Thailand

The animals had apparently been let loose to try and stop officials taking them


Tigers Seized from Thai Temple

Wildlife authorities are removing three tigers from the Tiger Temple in Thailand.

The temple is a popular tourist destination with visitors travelling far and wide to snap a selfie with a big cat or bottle-feed the cubs here.

See also: Tigers roam around Philadelphia Zoo on their own catwalks​

See also: Tiger bumps head while chasing meat underwater​ (photos)

But in recent years, the temple has been investigated for links to wildlife trafficking and animal abuse.

The monks that live there have been accused of illegally breeding the tigers, and visitors have said the animals appear drugged. The temple has denied all accusations.

Thailand's Wildlife Conservation Office (WCO) made their way to the temple to try and rescue a number of the 137 tigers that live there.

According to CNN the rescue efforts were hampered when they arrived at the Tiger Temple to find it in chaos.

Teunjai Noochdumrong, director of the Wildlife Conservation Office, told CNN: "Yesterday was mayhem. When our vet team arrived, there were tigers roaming around everywhere, looks like the temple intentionally let these tigers out, trying to obstruct our work."

It has also been reported that the temple officials refused to let the WCO staff into the area initially, they finally relented and three of the 137 tigers were taken away to animal refuges.

Thailand is a hub for illicit trafficking of wildlife and forest products, including ivory. The government is frequently accused of not doing enough to enforce legislation.

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