Tiger Temple in Thailand - level 3
Roaming around and frolicking about, this Tiger Temple in Thailand is home to 137 tigers, but this could all change after the country's wildlife department rejected its bid to extend its zoo license.
The Buddhist temple, popular with tourists, has been investigated for suspected links to wildlife trafficking as well as accusations of illegal breeding. Officials have removed some tigers from the temple, which has been dogged for years by talk of mistreatment and supplying the black market. In January, five tigers were seized by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation and relocated to conservation centres.
But some volunteers think that uprooting the animals would be traumatic:
“For me, I just feel like these animals are going to be put through under a lot of stress in the move, rather than taking care of the ones that they have first, building the sanctuary, letting them free and then working their way through the tigers in Thailand, to give them a better life.”
Officials accused the temple of maltreating the big cats. This director says the world is looking at them to do something in the face of allegations of inbreeding.
Until a final decision on the tigers’ destiny is made, there’s nothing more for the big cats to do but laze around and be met by the enthusiastic tourists in their droves.
Difficult words: roam (to walk), frolic (to play or to move about cheerfully), bid (to try), extend (to make larger or longer), trafficking (moving something from one country to another illegally), accusation (an allegation), breeding (the raising of animals), dog verb (to follow for a long time), seize (to take by force), volunteer (a person which does something without being paid), uprooting (taking away), maltreat (to treat badly), allegation (a claim – when somebody says something which may be true), inbreeding (the breeding or reproduction among close family), destiny (the future), drove (a large group).
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