Don't Allow Wildlife Traffickers to Reopen Cruel "Tiger Temple!"
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Last May, wildlife authorities shut down Thailand's infamous "Tiger Temple" tourist attraction after finding horrific evidence of wildlife crime. So why are they putting tigers at risk by allowing the temple's owners to open a new zoo?
The original Tiger Temple was a cruel tourist attraction and breeding farm described as "hell on earth" for hundreds of endangered tigers. The big cats were chained to the ground in the hot sun, beaten, and kept in dismal conditions, just so paying tourists could take "selfies" with the animals. After multiple tigers "disappeared" from the facility, law enforcement raided the temple and confiscated 147 tigers. They also discovered a gruesome stockpile of wildlife products destined for the black market, including tiger skins, tiger tooth amulets, and the bodies of over 60 dead cubs stored in freezers and jars of formaldehyde. DNA analysis revealed that many of the dead cubs were not related to any of the temple's tigers, serious evidence of trafficking.
Now, World Animal Protection reports that the group behind the Tiger Temple has changed its name to Golden Tiger (Thailand) Co. Ltd. and is planning to reopen a new tiger attraction within months -- even as its shareholders are under investigation for wildlife crime!
Construction has already started on a 10-acre, 3.4 million dollar complex in Kanchanaburi which could imprison up to 500 tigers. The Thai government has granted Golden Tiger a preliminary license, and tour groups are already selling $300 tickets to the attraction. But there's still time to stop this. Golden Tiger has yet to be awarded a full zoo license from Thailand's Department of National Parks -- and since official investigations against Tiger Temple are ongoing, it could be against Thai law for the license to be granted.
Venues like Tiger Temple have no conservation value. They subject captive tigers to extreme suffering while fueling the black market wildlife trade, all for the sake of "entertainment" and profit. Given the appalling conditions and illegal trade at the former Tiger Temple, we’re urging the Thai government not to put any more tigers at risk by activating the full zoo license needed for another tiger entertainment venue to be opened. Please speak out for tigers, and urge the Thai Department of National Parks to keep this cruel venue closed for good.
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