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Horrific end for the beasts of Tiger Temple: Wildlife officials reveal remains

Wildlife officials have revealed the remains of one of 86 tigers that died from disease just three years after they were saved from an infamous tourist attraction in Thailand.  

Workers wore protective suits to remove body parts of the carcass preserved in formaldehyde after dozens of tigers slowly died from Laryngeal tongue paralysis at the Khao Prathap Chang Wildlife Sanctuary.  

Thai authorities confiscated 147 animals from the Tiger Temple west of Bangkok after allegations of animal trafficking. During the raid, they found dead cubs preserved in the freezer, and others stuffed into jars.

The tigers, which have been dropping dead since they were rescued in 2016, were given an autopsy before their body parts and organs were preserved as evidence.

Wildlife officials have revealed the remains of one of 86 tigers that died from disease just three years after they were saved from an infamous tourist attraction in Thailand

Spreading the remains on a white tarpaulin using metal hooks, wildlife officials will give the tiger a proper burial at the government-run sanctuary, according to local media. 

Visitors to the notorious temple took selfies with tigers and bottle-fed cubs, but the tourist destination became the centre of controversy when it emerged the owners were selling tiger parts on the black market and allegedly drugging the big cats. 

Years on, more than half of the confiscated tigers have slowly died after becoming weak from the stress of living in captivity, with their condition had steadily deteriorated from their diagnosis to their death, The Thaiger reported.

Because the tigers had been inbred and lived only in captivity, their immune system was weakened, leaving them unable to fight the viral disease.   

A Thai wildlife official wearing a protective suit handles the carcass of a formaldehyde preserved tiger seized from the controversial Tiger Temple

A Thai wildlife official wearing a protective suit handles the carcass of a formaldehyde preserved tiger seized from the controversial Tiger Temple

Spreading the remains - which are evidence of trafficking - on a white tarpaulin, the animal will receive a proper burial following an autopsy

Spreading the remains – which are evidence of trafficking – on a white tarpaulin, the animal will receive a proper burial following an autopsy 

The DNA of all 147 confiscated tigers could be traced to six tigers who were the original breeding stock, said Patarapol, head of the department’s Wildlife Health Management Division. 

Police found tiger skins and teeth and at least 1,500 amulets made from tiger bones when they raided the Buddhist temple, as well as 60 cub carcasses stuffed in freezers and in formaldehyde in jars.

Some had allegedly been dead more than five years. 

Wildlife officials empty a barrel filled with formaldehyde. Thai authorities confiscated 147 animals from the Tiger Temple west of Bangkok after allegations of animal trafficking

Wildlife officials empty a barrel filled with formaldehyde. Thai authorities confiscated 147 animals from the Tiger Temple west of Bangkok after allegations of animal trafficking

Officails use hooked metal poles to remove the body. During the raid of the tiger Temple, they found dead cubs preserved in the freezer, and others stuffed into jars

Officails use hooked metal poles to remove the body. During the raid of the tiger Temple, they found dead cubs preserved in the freezer, and others stuffed into jars

The tourist destination became the centre of controversy when it emerged the owners were selling tiger parts

Officials empty the barrel with the tiger parts

Visitors to the temple took selfies with tigers and bottle-fed cubs, but the tourist destination became the centre of controversy when it emerged the owners were selling tiger parts

Years on, more than half of the confiscated tigers have slowly died after becoming weak from the stress of living in captivity

Years on, more than half of the confiscated tigers have slowly died after becoming weak from the stress of living in captivity

The DNA of all 147 confiscated tigers could be traced to six tigers who were the original breeding stock

The DNA of all 147 confiscated tigers could be traced to six tigers who were the original breeding stock

Tiger parts, such as ground bones, are popular as traditional medicine in Asia. Tiger hides can sell for tens of thousands of dollars in China. 

Wildlife activists accused the temple’s monks of illegally breeding tigers, while some visitors said the animals appeared drugged. The temple denied the accusations.

A monk allegedly attempted to escape the temple during the raid, driving a truck with hundreds of vials of tiger skin and teeth, which were hidden in a suitcase.  

Spreading the remains on a white tarpaulin using metal hooks, wildlife officials will give the tiger a proper burial at the government-run sanctuary

Spreading the remains on a white tarpaulin using metal hooks, wildlife officials will give the tiger a proper burial at the government-run sanctuary

Tiger parts, such as ground bones, are popular as traditional medicine in Asia. Tiger hides can sell for tens of thousands of dollars in China

Tiger parts, such as ground bones, are popular as traditional medicine in Asia. Tiger hides can sell for tens of thousands of dollars in China

The animal received an autopsy shortly after its death. Because the tigers had been inbred and lived only in captivity, their immune system was weakened, leaving them unable to fight the viral disease

The animal received an autopsy shortly after its death. Because the tigers had been inbred and lived only in captivity, their immune system was weakened, leaving them unable to fight the viral disease

A total of 146 tigers were confiscated from the temple in 2016 after allegations of animal trafficking

A total of 146 tigers were confiscated from the temple in 2016 after allegations of animal trafficking

Jars containing infant tigers and tiger organs were found in a freezer during the raid, as were the bodies of 60 cubs

Jars containing infant tigers and tiger organs were found in a freezer during the raid, as were the bodies of 60 cubs

What is Laryngeal paralysis? 

Laryngeal paralysis occurs when the vocal folds are unable to open in response to exercise or respiratory demands.

There is the only one muscle involved in opening the vocal fold as this is controlled by one of the longest nerves in the body. 

It makes swallowing and breathing – particularly during exercise – difficult for the animal. 

This nerve leaves the brain, travels down the neck, circles around the heart, and then travels back up the neck to enter the larynx.

Causes of the disease include from birth, trauma or from tumours.

Source: Mayo Clinic 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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