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Thailand Is Closing Its Controversial Tiger Temple

Thailand's controversial Tiger Temple is set to close down as a tourist attraction, as local authorities are now removing animals from the facility.

Also known as Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, Tiger Temple is a Buddhist temple located on the outskirts of Bangkok which houses over 100 tigers, reports Reuters. It is ranked as one of the Thai capital's must-see attractions, however in recent years the facility has battled numerous accusations of wildlife trafficking and animal abuse.

In January, National Geographic published an exclusive detailing evidence of the temple's rumored crimes, including poor treatment and exploitation as well as efforts to supply the black market. The previous year, Thai authorities visited the temple in April, only to find several animals had gone missing from the facility without explanation, as well as the carcass of a tiger in the freezer.

Since then, Thai authorities have denied the temple's proposal to become a zoo and recently began moving the tigers to other reservations and national parks, reports the Global Post. At the moment, authorities are trying to confiscate five tigers per month until all the tigers have been safely removed from the facility.

Attempts to investigate the temple's alleged activities have been carried out before, however aggressive resistance from both local residents and the foundation which runs Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua have hampered these efforts. Tiger Temple currently brings in approximately US$3 million a year from tourists, who visit the facility to interact with its animals.

[Photo via Reuters]


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