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Tiger Temple Update: Black Market Trade Supply Confirmed

(Photo Credit: Wayne Hay Al Jazeera)

Al Jazeera has been doing an incredible job covering the raid at Thailand’s Tiger Temple this week. What they’ve been reporting - loose tigers, dead cubs, black market animal parts - is horrific, but sadly, not surprising. 

The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand reported today on their Facebook page that “a monk along with two other members of staff were caught by the authorities trying to flee the temple with tiger skins and body parts, many of which has already been processed into jewelry and other trinkets ready for sale.” Al Jazeera also reported that several jars containing the heads of tiger cubs - quite possibly made from the ones kept in the freezer - are likely to be for a type of tiger wine popular in Vietnam.

(Photo Credit: Wayne Hay Al Jazeera)

Meanwhile, work is still underway to capture and transport the remaining tigers away from the facility. WFFT reported that the abbot of the temple fired all his staff today, which means there is nobody on site to take care of the remaining tigers as well as the rest of the domestic and wild menagerie the temple houses. The WFFT and Thai Animal Guardians Association are working with local authorities to figure out how to resolve the situation and keep the animals fed and contained. 

(Photo Credit: Wayne Hay Al Jazeera)

All of the tigers being removed from the Tiger Temple are being shipped to a ‘government facility’ temporarily, although where exactly that is has not been announced. There’s no news on where the rescued cats will end up.