Deer being removed from the Tiger Temple.

Endangered animals were caught and removed from the Tiger Temple in Kanchanburi province yesterday.

The animals were left over from the last animal seizure at the controversial temple mid last year, and they will be moved to other wildlife breeding operations in nearby provinces for better care.

In the previous seizure, the animals were deemed to be confiscated assets. That operation was led by former deputy director general Adisorn Nuchdamrong.

He led a group of park officials and veterinarians to move 147 tigers and some others animals from the Tiger Temple, or Wat Pa Luang Ta Maha Bua.

The operation unearthed a lot of talismans and wild animal carcasses, including tiger cubs, in the compound. The temple was suspected of being involved in wildlife trafficking.

The tigers were moved to the Khao Son and the Khao Prathapchang wildlife breeding stations in nearby Ratchaburi province. But a number of other protected and endangered animals, including barking deers and thamin deers, remained in the wild at the 400 rai (64 hectare) temple compound.

The wildlife sanctuary chief under the Protected Areas Regional Office 3 office, Sikhapong Krajaejan, led the operation on Thursday. He said up to 120 animals were fed in the compound but they were scattered as they roamed free.

Only six were caught on Thursday.

It is estimated that the operation will take around a month to complete.

“We have to wait for them [the animals] somewhere on a rugged terrain and do so with patience, before putting them in cages. And we can do this only during the morning and the evening because if we chase them during the day, they would be hurt,” said the office’s director Yanyong Lekhawijit.

They animals will be moved to the Khao Khor wildlife breeding station in Petchabun province, and the Huai Kha Khaeng wildlife breeding station in Uthai Thani.

Hopefully, this will bring an end to an unsavoury chapter in Thailand’s history.What went on in that temple was cruelty of unspeakable magnitude and nothing like that must ever be allowed to happen again.

My own personal tribute to the magnificent tiger.

All animals deserve to be protected, but tigers are one of the most majestic creatures on the planet and it is essential that they remain so for generations to come.

(Source: The Nation, Thailand)

By Juninho