Thai police have located a house 30 miles from the Tiger Temple in Thailand which they claim was used as a slaughterhouse and a tiger-holding facility.
They believe that it was here the tigers were killed for their body parts to be exported across Asia. Though they have detained two caretakers, the authorities are yet to find the house’s owner.
At least 22 people have been charged with trafficking of tigers and other animals as officials continue to stumble upon more carcasses in the now infamous Tiger Temple.
On June 1, authorities had found 40 baby tiger bodies and those of other animals in a freezer inside the temple. Two days later, reports say, they discovered at least 20 jars containing dead bodies of the tiger cubs.
The temple is actually called the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua but is known around the world as the Tiger Temple. It is the only place in the world where otherwise ferocious Royal Bengal Tigers mingle freely with visitors and residing monks, without causing harm to anyone.
Immensely popular with tourists, the temple charged Thai Baht 600 or INR 1100 from tourists for posing with the tigers.
Located in Kanchanaburi province, north-west of Bangkok, the temple has been accused of trafficking even before the authorities clamped down on it in a raid that began on May 30.
As per reports, Thai police and wildlife officials are still in the temple. They have been relocating close to 137 tigers from the temple to state-controlled wildlife sanctuaries.
Of the 22 charged, three are Buddhist monks and 17 are members of the temple’s foundation. The authorities claim that a search of the quarters of the monks unearthed more body parts.
Despite the increasing numbers of tiger carcasses, the Tiger Temple continues to refute the allegations against it. Three days after the raid, when the authorities discovered the 40 tiger cub bodies, the Temple had posted on it Facebook account stating that the babies died a natural death and that the temple had been advised to store the bodies in a freezer instead of cremating them.