CHIANGRAI TIMES – A veterinarian at the “Tiger Temple” – Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, in Kanchanaburi’s Sai Yok district -said yesterday that the death of a tiger on May 26 resulted from a freak accident, but the temple treated its tigers well and cooperated with Thai authorities. The mysterious death of the tiger had led to fears animals at the temple were being mistreated.
Veterinarian Somchai Wisetmongkolchai said temple staff hung a tyre on a chain for tigers to play with, but next morning found the one-year-old female tiger dead with the chain around its neck. It had sustained serious neck wounds as it apparently tried to chew the chain off its neck.
Somchai checked and photographed the wounds, alerted the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department and submitted a report on the tiger’s death to the Conservation Area 3 Office (Ban Pong). Authorities came to inspect the death as per normal procedure, he said.
Insisting the tigers were well taken care of and that each tiger had a microchip implanted and registered with the department, he said a Mahidol University (Sai Yok) vet checked on the tigers on a regular basis. He had suggested the department stuff the tiger carcass for educational purposes, rather than burn it, he said.
Conservation Area 3 Office (Ban Pong) director Yutthachai Pattamasonthi said the department instructed his office to work with the Tiger Temple to examine the carcass for the cause of death at the Mahidol University (Sai Yok)’s livestock and wildlife hospital.
About Tiger Temple:
The Tiger Temple was founded in 1994 as a forest monastery and sanctuary for numerous wild animals. In 1995, the temple received the Golden Jubilee Buddha Image, made of 80kg in gold. In 1999 the temple received the first tiger cub; it had been found by villagers and died soon after. Several tiger cubs were later given to the temple, typically when the mothers had been killed by poachers. As of 2007, over 21 cubs had been born at the temple, and the total number of tigers was about 12 adult tigers and 4 cubs. As of late March 2011, the total number of tigers living at the temple has risen to almost 90. The hands on approach of the Monks results in happy tigers and a successful breeding programme. Because of a lack of managed breeding programmes and publicly available DNA data, the pedigree of the tigers is not known. However, it is presumed they are Indochinese Tigers, except Mek, who is a Bengal Tiger. It is possible that some may be the newly discovered Malayan Tigers, while many probably are cross breeds or hybrids.
he infamous Thailand Tiger Temple is located at Kanchanaburi, our day trips from Bangkok take about 2.5 hours. It is very popular with visitors to Thailand and many people visit either directly or as part of a combination tour. Some visitors make the trip to Thailand specifically to visit the Tiger Temple. It is the oldest surviving Buddhist school and forest temple in western Thailand and a sanctuary for numerous animals, including several tame tigers.
Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, or the Tiger Temple, is a Theravada Buddhist forest temple in western Thailand. It is a sanctuary for numerous animals, including several tame tigers. The tigers walk around freely once a day and can be petted by visitors. The Tiger Temple is located in the Saiyok district of the Kanchanaburi province, not far from the border with Myanmar, along the 323 highway.