TIGERS from the famous Tiger Temple are settling down in their new home, as the authorities continue moving the big cats to new premises.
The seven tigers that were taken to the Khaoson breeding station in Ratchaburi province on Monday night have so far shown no signs of stress.
The breeding station will house 58 tigers from the Kanchanaburi-based temple, known formally as Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua Yannasampanno. As of press time, eight more tigers were heading for the Khaoson centre.
Adisorn Noochdumrong, deputy director-general of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said as many as 137 tigers will be moved this week.
“We should be able to transfer 20 tigers per day once we have successfully cordoned off those people who are not involved in the operation,” he said.
The authorities decided to take the tigers away
from the temple – which charged Thais Bt300 and foreigners Bt600 for entry into its tiger zone – because wildlife is deemed state property.
Many of the tigers will also go to the Ratchaburi-based Khao Prathap Chang breeding station.
Meanwhile, Wildlife Conservation Office director Teunchai Noochdumrong is calling on tourists to stay away from the temple during the operation, as the temple’s officials and animal keepers are refusing to cooperate with authorities.
“We have evidence that some keepers deliberately unchained the tigers and we have lodged complaints against them for obstructing officials from doing their job,” she said.