KANCHANABURI: Parks officials mobilized staff from the Protected Areas Regional Office 3 to catch protected and endangered animals left at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi Province yesterday.
The animals were left over from the last raid at the controversial temple mid last year (story here), and will be moved to other wildlife breeding operations in nearby provinces for better care.
During the previous raid, 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 other animals from the Tiger Temple.
The operation unearthed thousands of talismans and wild animal carcasses, including tiger cubs, in the compound. The temple was suspected of being linked to wildlife trafficking.
At the time, 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 deer and thamin deer, remained in the wild at the 400-rai temple compound.
Sikhapong Krajaejan, the wildlife sanctuary chief under the Protected Areas Regional Office 3, led the latest operation. He said up to 120 animals were fed in the compound, but they were scattered as they roamed free.
Only six had been caught until yesterday – it is estimated that the operation will take about 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 Protected Areas Regional Office 3 Director Yanyong Lekhawijit.
The animals, once captured, will be moved to the Khao Khor wildlife breeding station in Petchabun Province, and the Huai Kha Khaeng wildlife breeding station in Uthai Thani.
— The Nation
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