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40 killed tiger cubs uncovered at Thai temple

(Xinhua)    19:22, June 01, 2016

KANCHANABURI, Thailand, June 1 (Xinhua)-- More then 40 bodies of tiger cubs and a dead bear were found frozen at Thailand's Tiger Temple, wildlife officials said on Wednesday.

The grisly discover came after the relocation of the remaining 137 tigers of the temple operated by at least 1,000 personnel at the remote forest temple in western Thailand since Monday.

The dead cubs and bear were stored in the freezer where the temple kept food for the tigers, said Adisorn Nuchdamrong, deputy director-general of the wildlife department, who claimed that the temple had never registered the dead cubs.

He believed that the tiger cub carcasses must be of some value for the temple to have kept them.

The tiny tiger cubs found after authorities stormed the temple's secret stash, aged from birth to one week old. Observers said on Twitter that they appeared to have been killed recently.

The raid began on May 30 is the latest move in a tug-of-war since 2001 to bring the tigers under state control, which was widely obstructed by the monks.

The Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi province, west of Bangkok, had become a tourist destination where visitors snapped selfies with bottle-fed cubs.

The temple promotes itself as a wildlife sanctuary, but in recent years, it has been investigated for suspected links to wildlife trafficking and animal abuse.

The temple has denied claims that the monks carry out irresponsible breeding programmes, traffic endangered species and sell the animals.

Animal rights activists have been long campaigning against the temple's illegal possession of the big cats, describing it as "hell for animals" and called on tourists to stop visiting animal attractions at home and abroad.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Huang Jin,Bianji)

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