As if this story weren’t already shocking enough, authorities have just found something that will truly horrify you.
After receiving a tip, police raided a house linked to Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple and found a slaughterhouse and a tiger holding facility used by an animal-trafficking network. Authorities also came across four more live tigers and dozens of empty cages at the grisly facility in Kanchanaburi.
— Asian Correspondent (@AsCorrespondent) June 8, 2016
Authorities found a work area with a large chopping board and knives at the deadly facility. Police Colonel Montri Pancharoen said, “We believe it was used by the Tiger Temple to hold live tigers before slaughtering them for their skins, meat and bones to be exported outside the country, or sent to restaurants in Thailand that serve tiger meat to tour groups.”
This grim discovery is part of the police’s attempt to delve deeper into Thailand’s sordid wildlife trafficking trade. Following last week’s raid on the Tiger Temple—which confined, drugged, and beat tigers in exchange for tourists’ money—the police are launching a nationwide investigation of zoos. Thirty facilities nationwide that keep tigers and other wild animals will be investigated, and each one will need to prove that it’s operating legally.
Tigers at the now-closed Tiger Temple spent almost every hour of their lives confined to barren concrete cells and were allowed out only to make money for the temple. Tourists paid money for the fleeting experience of touching, hugging, or snapping a selfie with heavily sedated wild animals. The tigers’ movements were restricted, and the monks reportedly beat the frustrated animals when they refused to cooperate.
What You Can Do
As long as tickets continue to be sold, animals will continue to be trafficked, traded, and tortured. Please pledge never to visit any place that profits from live animals.
Always make sure that you’re visiting a reputable sanctuary, and urge friends and family to leave cruel tourist traps off their vacation itineraries.
Remember: Animals are not ours to use for entertainment. If there’s any risk that your vacation experience is going to hurt or cause stress to an animal, it’s not worth it.