30 more dead cubs have been found on Thursday at the Tiger Temple in Thailand. A number of talismans made with tiger carcasses and two tiger pelts were also found.
The update comes after 40 dead tiger cubs were found in a freezer at Wat Pa Luang Ta Maha Bua in Sai Yok district. The temple has long been accused of animal abuse and wildlife trafficking.
According to the Bangkok Post, the new carcasses, preserved in glass jars, were seized during searches in the living quarters of the temple abbot. Until Thursday, the team responsible for the relocation of the 137 Bengal tigers successfully transferred 64. The team is expected to relocate the rest by Friday.
On Monday, an operation was initiated by police and wildlife officials to remove and relocate all the living tigers at the Tiger Temple.
Pictures were taken by journalists at the scene, who posted them on social media. These photos showed the 40 cubs lined up on the floor, says the BBC.
Since the raid, the site in Kanchanaburi has been closed to the public. The site is a popular tourist attraction.
According to the deputy director-general of the wildlife department, Adisorn Nuchdamrong, the bodies of the tiger cubs and bear were found stashed in the freezer where the temple kept food for the tigers.
“The temple never registered these dead cubs. They are illegal,” he said.
It is now clear that the Tiger Temple has been involved in illegal breeding and smuggling activities.
Edwin Wiek, head of the Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand, said that the discovery of the dead animals proves the criminal engagement of the temple.
“Under the CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species] treaty, no wildlife farm or sanctuary can engage in the breeding of protected species,” Wiek told reporters on phone.
He also said that the animals, which were found in the temple, were bred and kept away from the public eye. He said that he believes the dead tiger cubs were stashed because they were to be sold in parts on the black market, says Aljazeera.
According to the Portland Press Herald, the temple has a history that is two decades long.
This incident is so incriminating that the heritage of the temple has now been impaired by allegations that the monks had bred the tigers for monetary benefit.
The monks kept missing animals and were also engaged in illegal wildlife trade.