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More than half of the tigers moved from the Tiger Temple have died

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More than half of the tigers moved from the Tiger Temple have died | The Thaiger
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“The tigers became weak from stress from living in captivity and their conditions steadily deteriorated until they succumbed to their death.”

86 out of a total of 147 tigers kept at two wildlife breeding stations in Ratchaburi province, after they were confiscated from the infamous Tiger Temple in Thailand’s western province of Kanchanaburi about three years ago, have died from Laryngeal tongue paralysis.

Tiger Temple used to be a popular tourist attraction where tourists could view tigers close-up, but became embroiled in controversy when it was discovered they were selling tiger parts on the black market.

The temple has long been accused by animal rights activists of mistreating the tigers for commercial gain and even trafficking some of its animals.

In May 2016, the Thailand Wildlife Conservation Office began capturing and relocating the tigers, intending to close the facility. Authorities counted 137 tigers on the premises, and the frozen bodies of 40 cubs, some of them dead for more than five years.

More than half of the tigers moved from the Tiger Temple have died | News by The Thaiger

The Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple, long dogged by controversy and complaints from animal rights activists, was eventually closed down in 2016.

A source has told Thai PBS that some of the relocated tigers were diagnosed with suffering from Laryngeal tongue paralysis when they were first moved from Luangta Bua Yannasampanno forest monastery in Kanchanaburi province to the Khao Pratab Chang wildlife breeding station in Ratchaburi province in June 2016.

The source said that most of the tigers confiscated from the forest monastery were captive bred Siberian tigers and, therefore, did not have natural immunity, rendering them weak and susceptible to diseases.

He explained that Laryngeal tongue paralysis is common among tigers and cats.

Of the dead tigers, 54 of them were from Khao Pratab Chang where 85 were raised and 32 others were from Khao Son breeding station, also in Ratchaburi province – both are operated by the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

The source said that the tigers did not die suddenly or died in large numbers at the same time, but they became weak from stress from living in captivity and their conditions steadily deteriorated until they succumbed to their death.

Kept in captivity, he said the captive tigers would gradually lose their wild instinct and develop stress no matter their living condition was up to standard and they were fed well.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Bangkok

Smog across Bangkok can be blamed on a ‘Dust Dome’ of pollutants

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Smog across Bangkok can be blamed on a ‘Dust Dome’ of pollutants | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

Poor air quality across Bangkok in the past week are not just caused by the PM2.5 dust. We can blame a ‘dust dome’ that is formed with low atmospheric pressure, dust and pollutants from the farmland waste burning, and greenhouse gases.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa says that the pollutants come from “the improper disposal” of farming waste around Bangkok’s northern outskirts. He also asked provincial governors to ask farmers to avoid burring farm waste. If they refuse to cooperate, there might be an order to ban all outdoor burning activities in the future, while suggesting that farmers should sell their agricultural waste instead of burning it.

The mentioning of the agricultural sector being major contributors to Bangkok’s smog problems is a rare official recognition of the pollution ‘elephant in the room’.

People in Bangkok are also being encouraged to avoid outdoor activities and wear their masks when going outside to prevent both the pollutants and Covid-19. While “unhealthy level” of PM2.5 has been reported in many areas over the past week, the Department of Pollution Control is considering both short-term and long-term measures to tackle the air pollution problems.

Measures that have been rolled out include an extension of the work-from-home policy, lowering the price of low sulphur fuel in the capital and its vicinity, extensive monitoring of waste burning on farms, as well as offering higher prices for sugarcane products which were made in a sustainable manner.

For a long-term plan, the department is considering setting a new standard of air quality by lowering the “safe” threshold for PM2.5 exposure below the current level, but this is likely to happen in the next 5 years. Also, the government aims to apply the Euro-5 standard for vehicle emissions by 2024.

He also says that the pollution situation in Thailand has seen improvement after the measures were implemented. And, the number of days where [air quality] exceeded safe standards was less than 20% of the year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Environment

Thailand on fire – NASA satellite website tracks the country’s farm fires

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Thailand on fire – NASA satellite website tracks the country’s farm fires | The Thaiger

Thailand is burning. The burning off of harvested crop plantations is lighting up the agricultural areas. The truth is starkly revealed in the live NASA satellite feeds which track the fires around the world.

Thailand on fire - NASA satellite website tracks the country's farm fires | News by The Thaiger

CHART: Fires in the past 10 days around parts of Thailand – Firms.Modaps

Concentrations of the current fires can be seen in Central Thailand, north of Bangkok, parts of Isaan, north east of Bangkok, and around Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. Notably the concentration of fires in northern Cambodia and across the north-western border in Myanmar, is also causing plenty of problems as the foreign smoke drifts across the borders. No matter what Thai officials do to enforce the rice, sugar and corn plantation burn-offs, there is little they can do about the haze drifting across the borders.

Bangkok, so close to clusters of fires, is in for a bad air pollution day anytime the light winds of the start of the year blow from the north or the east. The lack of rain adds to the problem, the annual problem, that engulfs Thailand’s capital during days between December and April, with the worst month, statistically, being March.

The alternative method of preparing for the next harvest, mechanical removal of the refuse and waste after harvesting, is both unpopular in Thailand and economically unviable for the small farmers whose margins remain thin with the multi-national buyers of their produce pushing for lower and lower prices every year.

In Chiang Mai, from January to the end of March, the locals even call it the ‘burning season’. Coupled with the hot season, the farmers in northern Thailand burn their fields to prepare land for the next harvest and also to get rid of biowastes like corn that can’t be sold in the market. It’s officially illegal to do the burn offs but the lack of enforcement leaves the problem unresolved and the smog and haze remain as predictable as the annual wet season.

Chiang Mai also has a local geographic problem which exacerbates the bad smoke pollution. The city is in a valley, surrounded by hills, trapping in the smoke and helping block any breezes that could otherwise blow it away.

For today, Bangkok’s air pollution is better than the past two days but still registering as ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ with city readings mostly between 140 – 170. Parts of the city, mostly south-east and south west, were registering readings above 300 in the past few days.

Thailand on fire - NASA satellite website tracks the country's farm fires | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: IQair.com

Watch this video for some more information about Bangkok’s smog…

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Thailand

Wildfires hit Mae Hong Son’s Pai district

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Wildfires hit Mae Hong Son’s Pai district | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Several wildfires have broken out in Mae Hong Son’s Pai district in Northern Thailand. The governor says he believes that several blazes happening in the area are a result of the dry season arriving earlier than usual.

Using the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer system, the local forest fire control centre detected 155 so-called “heat points” in the Pai district from January 1 to 12. Last year’s dry season only 96 heat points were detected.

There are no reports of property damages, injuries, or deaths.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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