SOME tigers transferred from the controversial ‘Tiger Temple’ in Kanchanaburi recently are not eating at their new homes.
“They are in the process of adjusting themselves to new surroundings,” National Parks, Plant and Wildlife Conservation Department deputy head Adisorn Noochdumrong said yesterday. Authorities moved 137 tigers from the temple to two state-run breeding stations in Ratchaburi province. The first batch arrived on January 28. Of the 10 tigers in the first batch, one died.
Adisorn yesterday confirmed the death of the tiger but explained that it succumbed to gastro-intestinal infections, detected when the animals were at the ‘Tiger Temple’ in Kanchanaburi province.
The transfers of the tigers took place because the temple did not have a licence to keep them and there have long been claims that the monastery was engaged in wildlife trafficking.
During the transfers, officials came across several shocking discoveries, such as pickled tiger babies and tiger skins. Asked about tigers that refused to eat, Adisorn said they had been accustomed to cooked meat the temple gave them.
“Their new places serve raw chicken,” he said. “We have tried to help them with saline solutions, vitamins and other animal feed pellets.”
He said officials had also given vitamins to tigers that had showed signs of stress.