It is sad that just a week ahead of World Environment Day, dedicated to the theme ‘Go Wild For Life’, the wildlife officials found bodies of 40 dead tiger cubs at the ‘Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua temple complex popularly known as the Tiger temple of Bangkok. The famous temple has been accused of wildlife trafficking, of not keeping the tigers properly and of trading in tiger parts. Even though the temple authorities denied the charges, body parts found at the temple pointed towards unethical breeding and trafficking of endangered animals.
Many raised doubts that the temple may not be an admission-zoo after all. The Buddhist temple first started bringing in tiger cubs 20 years ago, especially the ones whose mothers were killed by poachers. Since then the temple has developed into a major tourist attraction. The temple continued keeping the tigers despite accusations of trafficking and that the tigers mostly looked sedated etc.
However, the latest findings do indicate wrong doings, especially considering Thailand is a major centre for wildlife trafficking. The wildlife department which first raided the temple on Monday, removed most of the 137 tigers inside the complex.