If you've ever been to Thailand, you probably visited or at least heard about the country's famous Tiger Temple.
It's a Buddhist temple in the west of the country that also functions as a nature preserve for tigers. However, the usually serene temple has been the site of an intense animal cruelty investigation in recent weeks with officials making a grisly discovery that sealed the temple's fate.
This week, officials discovered the remains of about 40 tiger cubs stuffed into a freezer after a raid on the temple. The temple has long been suspected of being involved in illegal trafficking and animal cruelty. This discovery set the stage for what came next.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 1, 2016
Following the gruesome discovery, Thai officials have begun slowly removing the 137 resident tigers of the temple and bringing them to government-run animal shelters. They're currently relocating about 20 tigers a day.
— Animal_Watch (@Animal_Watch) June 3, 2016
Despite the evidence before them, the temple insists it has done nothing wrong. In a post on Facebook, temple officials claimed that all of the frozen tiger cubs died of natural causes.
— Dario Pignatelli (@dariopignatelli) June 1, 2016
"Cubs do occasionally die for various reasons, most often when a new mother lacks the experience to properly care for them. In the past, per Buddhist custom, these tiger cubs were cremated," a representative writes.
— E. Matthews (@matthewsted1) June 1, 2016
"In 2010, the ex-vet of Tiger Temple changed this policy. Instead of cremation, the deceased cubs were preserved in jars or kept frozen. We have documented all of the deaths from 2010 and have photographic evidence of them still being within the Temple."
Despite the massive tiger move underway, the temple is keeping its doors open to visitors and tourists. However, they are making the possible dangers of being present during such an event known.
— Patpicha (@patpichatan) June 3, 2016
(via The Daily Mail)
That is utterly heartbreaking. While there are no criminal charges pending at the moment, part of me hopes that the government decides to file suit against these guys.