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Thai tiger temple denies abuse, trade

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  10 Jun 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Bangkok, June 9: The controversial Wat Pa Luangta Maha Bua Buddhist mostery, popularly known as the Tiger Temple accused of abusing dozens of tigers seized by wildlife authorities in Thailand, on Thursday denied allegations that it mistreated or traded the animals. At a press conference, a representative for the monks Siri Wangboonlert said: “This is a robbery. They have no right to confiscate the tigers,” CNN reported. The Tiger Temple in Kanchaburi province was a popular attraction with visitors who paid an entrance fee to pet and pose for photos with the 137 cats, but it had faced substantial criticism over its alleged practices. The temple’s abbot, Luang Ta Chan, was expected to speak at the press conference, but arrived on a gold cart and waved at reporters before leaving. Temple officials said he was not involved in the running of the sanctuary and could not speak as he had recently undergone a heart operation. During a raid by the Department of tiol Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) to remove the tigers in late May, authorities found 40 cub bodies in the temple’s freezer, along with other animal parts. Five men, including three monks, have been charged with possession of endangered animal parts without permission. If convicted, they face a maximum pelty of four years in prison and/or a fine of $1,100. (ians)

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