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All you need to know about the Tiger Temple of Thailand

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Image Source:Youtube.org

By Pragya Jha

Image Source: wikimedia commons
Image Source: wikimedia commons

Located in Sai Yok District of Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province, the temple is not very far from the border with Burma, some 38km northwest of Kachnaburi. It charges admission fee.

In 2015 the temple was cleared from the allegations of mistreatment of animals as per the investigation conducted by Wildlife officials and a raid by Thai soldiers.

Tigers

The temple received its first tiger cub in the year 1999.Villagers found that cub and handed over it to the temple. However, the cub died soon after. After that several tiger cubs were given to the temple. The no of tigers residing in the temple are 150 approx. as of January 2016.

The DNA data of the original eight tigers which were rescued is incomplete and therefore it is unavailable to public. The origin of these tigers is not known but it is assumed that they are Indochinese tiger, except Mek. Mek is a pedigree of Bengal Tiger. It is possible that some may be the cross breed or hybrid of Malyalan Tigers.

Issues and Controversy

An organization called Care for the Wild International alleged the temple of being involved in clandestine exchange of tiger with the owner of tiger farm in Laos. It is claimed that it operates tiger breeding facility without a license that is required under the Thai Wild Animals Reservation and Protection Act of 1992.

According to the founder of Wildlife Friends of Thailand, the temple’s functions violates CITES (An international treaty to which Thailand is signatory). Under its laws CITES bans the commercial breeding of protected wild animals. All previous attempts by authorities to remove tigers from the temple have failed because of the influence created by the temple and its abbot, Phra Wisutthisarathen.

Based on the report of Care for the Wild International, a coalition of 39 conservative groups which included the Humane Society International, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, World Animal Protection and World Wide Fund For Nature sent to the director general of National Parks of Thailand under the name of “The International Tiger Coalition” urging the director general to take action against the temple for importing and exporting of 12 tigers with Laos. The letter concluded that the tiger temple does not have the facilities and skills neither it has relationships with accredited zoos. It also claims that the temple does not desire the tigers to manage in appropriate fashion and is encouraged purely for profit.

In December 2006, employees of ABC news spent three days in the temple and didn’t found any evidence of mistreating or drugging the animals.

On 2 February 2015 an official investigation was conducted by the Forest Officials. They were initially sent away by the temple authorities and were returned the following day with warrant, soldiers, and policemen.  The officials seized the wild birds and impounded the tigers. The head of Wildlife Crime Suspension stated that park did not have the permit for raising birds.

In 2016 two reports were issued  regarding the mistreatment and abuse of tigers in Tiger Temple.

Pragya Jha is a student of Journalism and Mass Communication in New Delhi.Twitter:pragya1527

Next Story

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh to Sow Aromatic Plants on Its Boundaries to Prevent Tiger Attacks

This puts a break on man-animal conflict

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Pilibhit, Tiger, Reserve
According to Naresh Kumar, senior WWF project director, herbivorous animals like deer, wild pigs and blue bulls do not eat aromatic plants and because they do not come into the area where aromatic plants are present. Pixabay

The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Uttar Pradesh will sow aromatic plants on its boundaries to prevent tiger attacks on human population.

According to Naresh Kumar, senior WWF project director, herbivorous animals like deer, wild pigs and blue bulls do not eat aromatic plants and because they do not come into the area where aromatic plants are present, tiger do not follow them. This puts a break on man-animal conflict.

Farmers in the villages of Dhakka, Chant, Khirkia, Bargadia and Dhuria Palia, around the PTR have already started experimenting by planting lemon grass, poppy, palm rose and geranium.

All these are cash crops which yield better results for farmers.

Pilibhit, Tiger, Reserve
The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Uttar Pradesh will sow aromatic plants on its boundaries to prevent tiger attacks on human population. Pixabay

Forest officials are taking help from the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and the Agricultural Science Centres to create awareness among farmers and provide seeds and other information regarding cultivation of aromatic plants.

An agriculture scientist said that the best thing about aromatic plants is that they give three crops in a year which makes them highly profitable. The harvesting months for these crops are March, June and October.

At present, sugarcane is the major crop in the area and wild pigs and blue bulls come into the fields and destroy the crops. Their presence also invite tigers into the area.

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In the past one year, eight farmers have lost their lives in tiger attacks. Recently, one tiger was beaten to death by the local people when the animal attacked a farmer. (IANS)