Officials seize tigers from controversial Thai temple

LONDON. KAZINFORM Wildlife authorities in Thailand have begun removing tigers from a Buddhist temple, after accusations of wildlife trafficking and animal abuse.

Three of the 137 tigers at the temple in Kanchanaburi province were moved on Monday. The 1000-personnel operation will last all week.

The monks, who deny all allegations, resisted at first but gave in when presented with a court order.

The tigers are being taken to animal refuges, authorities said.

The Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua Tiger Temple, a popular tourist destination, has for years resisted official efforts to take away the animals.

Visitors are able to feed the animals and take photographs for a fee, despite the temple being banned from charging admission fees or money.

"We have a court warrant this time, unlike previous times when we only asked for the temple's cooperation, which did not work," Adisorn Nuchdamrong, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks told AFP.

Monks at the controversial temple have been accused of illegally breeding tigers and animal trafficking.

A previous raid in February 2015 revealed jackals, hornbills and Asian bears kept at the sanctuary without the necessary permits.

Source: BBC News

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