Wildlife enforcement officers have rescued two tiger cubs, six great hornbills, and two wreathed hornbills from a wildlife trafficker in Northeastern Thailand.
Wildlife officers and local police raided a house in the Non-Sung district of the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, Thai PBS reported.
A 67-year-old man identified as “Kiang” living in the house with another man claimed to own the protected animals.
The suspected wildlife trafficker claimed to have purchased the tiger cubs for 150,000 baht each from a wildlife trader in Bangkok, the great hornbills for 6,000 baht each, and the wreathed hornbills for 8,000 baht each.
“Kiang” has been charged with illegal possession of and illegal trading in protected wildlife species, which can carry a prison sentence of up to ten years and/or a fine of up to one million baht in Thailand.
All the animals have now been shipped to the Phu Khiao Wildlife Husbandry Research Station in Chaiyaphum province.
The station chief, Sompong Boonsanong, told reporters that the two cubs looked scared when approached but were in good health and hungry when they arrived.
The baby tigers were given fresh pork and chicken meat to eat while officials waited for tigers’ milk to be sent from another wildlife center.
Blood samples will be taken from the baby tigers for DNA analysis.
According to Sompong, the hornbills are also in good health.
Thailand’s Illegal Tiger and Wildlife Trade
Mr. Pimpavadee Phaholyothin, CEO of WWF Thailand, applauded the DNP’s proactive and continuous efforts to protect tigers, a species long threatened by poaching and trade.
Tigers in the wild face threats from habitat destruction and deforestation and the domestic and international illegal wildlife trade. This trade drives the hunting of tigers for their parts and products.