A beheaded tiger and five live tigers were found during a wildlife trafficking raid at a private zoo in Thailand. The animals are said to be illegally smuggled and was recovered along with other animal corpses. The animals were found during a raid at Mukda Tiger Park Farm in Mukdahan in northeast Thailand’s Isaan province. Three of the five live tigers seized were found to be unrelated to the tigers of the zoo as per the DNA tests conducted by the officials. However, these are against the claims of zoo authorities. The officials suspected the wild cats were smuggled into the zoo. Bodies of 7 Tiger Cubs Found in a Car in Vietnam, Felines Likely Killed for Meat.

The tigers have now been relocated to Chulaphorn Wildlife Captive Breeding Centre where forensics testing would be done on the other two tigers. In 2018, locally protected animals like red pandas, grey-shanked doucs (monkeys) and elongated tortoises, were recovered from the zoo in a crackdown. Since then, the zoo has remained on the watch of the Thai authorities. Around 58 per cent of the Tigers seized in Thailand between 2000 and 2018 were from captive breeding facilities. Indonesia: Foetuses of 4 Critically Endangered Species of Sumatran Tiger Found in Jar.

If convicted in illegal smuggling of wildlife, the owner of the Mukda Tiger Park will face five years of jail and additional three years if proved guilty of giving false information. The license of the zoo will be suspended for 90 days. According to Traffic, almost 58 percent of tigers, including both dead and surviving animals, have been seized from captive breeding facilities between 2000 and 2018 in Thailand.

Kanitha Krishnasamy, Director for Traffic in Southeast Asia was quoted as saying, "Today's actions are very much in line with the global call for better recordkeeping, monitoring and enforcement of captive tiger facilities taken at CITES(1), to prevent laundering or leakage of animals into the illegal trade." She added, "Thailand’s revamped wildlife law with higher penalties and its well-established forensics expertise places it in a good position to lead on this crackdown, to find the parties responsible for this decades-long problem."

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 02, 2020 07:37 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).