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Thailand’s Tiger Temple drops court charges in dramatic climb down

 
CWI PRES RELEASE
30 July 2010

The legal representatives of Thailand’s notorious Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi dramatically backed down in a Thai court today, dropping all charges against conservationists.

The Temple, which houses around 60 tigers, is a popular destination where tourists pay to have their photos taken in close proximity to tigers.
 
Conservation and animal welfare groups have long held deep concerns about the facility. In 2008 Care for the Wild International (CWI) released a report detailing animal abuse, illegal trade, and public safety issues, following a three-year investigation.

Following the publication of an article in the Thai Post last year exposing the cruelty and illegal activities at the facility, the temple brought criminal and civil defamation charges against prominent conservationist Edwin Wiek of Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand, and two others. After months of legal wrangling, the temple withdrew the charges today when evidence provided by the Thai Department of National Parks effectively vindicated Mr Wiek’s comments.
 
Mark Jones, Programmes Director of CWI said, “We are delighted that the Tiger Temple has backed down. Having sensed the weight of the evidence against them, the Tiger Temple has clearly opted for a quick and quiet conclusion to this case, hoping to brush the issues under the table”.
 
Whilst this is a very positive step in the right direction, the road to victory for the Tiger Temple tigers is likely to be a long one. “With more people than ever flooding through the gates of the Tiger Temple each week and now talk of a second facility being built, it is more important than ever that we continue to draw the world’s attention to the plight of the Temple tigers” said Mr Jones.
 
If you would like more information, please visit the CWI website, www.careforthewild.com.

 

 

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