40 Dead Tiger Cubs Were Just Found In Freezers At This Famous Temple
It has not been a great week for endangered species.
At least 40 dead tiger cubs were discovered stored in a freezer at Thailand's Tiger Temple in Bangkok on Wednesday, The New York Times reports.
The Tiger Temple is an already controversial tourist attraction in Thailand. The temple allows tourists to pay to come in close contact with tigers, and animal rights activists have long accused the business of mistreating the animals for money.
Thai wildlife authorities found the dead cubs while in the process of removing adult tigers from the temple as part of an initiative to shut down the business in response to allegations of trafficking endangered species.
Officials said only one of the 40 cubs found had been reported dead to the government, which is required by law. Police will continue investigating before charges are pressed.
In a Facebook post from March, temple officials claim it is normal for some cubs to die naturally. But why they preserved the corpses in the freezer remains unclear.
Tiger parts are in high demand in Asia, often used for traditional medicine. However, none of the cubs discovered were missing any body parts.
Below is a video of the discovered cubs and the officials removing adult tigers from the temple. By Wednesday night, over 64 tigers had been removed, and officials hope to remove the remaining 73 by Saturday.
Public reaction to the news of the dead tiger cubs has been a mix of shock and anger.
Absolutely shameful! Horrible and so sad. To those responsible.....hang your heads in shame! #TigerTemple — Vicky Davies (@torypops) June 1, 2016
So, heads up, if you're ever a tourist in a foreign country and you get offered the chance to get a killer Instagram with a tiger or other endangered animal, maybe pass. For the animal's sake.
Citations: Thailand Officials Find 40 Dead Tiger Cubs in Temple Freezer (The New York Times), Authorities find freezers full of bear and tiger cub carcasses during raid on a temple where Thai monks are accused of trafficking (Daily Mail)