Tiger Temple raided

More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged  to engage in illegal wildlife trading.

The impounding of all wild animals and protected birds was ordered after a combined force of more than 100 forestry and park officials, police and soldiers searched the temple for protected bird species on Tuesday.

They produced search warrant for a temple worker for acknowledgement but he refused to sign saying he has no authority, saying the temple abbot was in Bangkok for sickness treatment.

After failing to get his acknowledgement for the search, authorities decided to move in and search the area.

They seized 38 hornbills, and impounded more than 100 tigers in the temple.

Authorities also tried in vain to find two rare wolves which were earlier put in cage in front of the temple.

All the seized hornbills and other protected birds were put  in cages and would be sent to Khao Pratap Chang  wildlife research station in Ratchaburi  for nursery.

Wildlife poaching  suppression officer Chatchai Sripaew said all the birds are protected species and people raising these  birds must have permits from authorities.

He said the search and seizure followed complaints that the temple engaged in illegal wildlife trade.

For the over 100 tigers in the temple, he said all would be impounded for check if the temple had official documents to raise them.

He said authorities would try to find out the two missing wolves, and seek clarification from the temple how they disappeared.

He said authorities would yet to get them back.