Captivity - caged tiger
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Thai tiger park faces permanent closure amid wildlife smuggling allegations

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The threat of permanent closure hangs over a tiger park in the north-eastern province of Mukdahan, due to the alleged illegal smuggling of tiger cubs. The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has brought charges against Mukda Tiger Park & Farm, also known as Mukda Suan Sua, and ordered the facility to close for 30 days.

The DNP also plans to withdraw the park’s operating licence, a move that could lead to permanent closure, as this is not the park’s first offence. In December, Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, a non-governmental organisation involved in the rescue of domesticated and captive wildlife, reported that officials seized 5 live tigers and a severed tiger head from the park. Subsequent DNA tests showed that the tiger cubs were not the offspring of parenting tigers at the park, arousing suspicions that they had been smuggled in. The park was shut for a month in January as a result of the findings.

In the latest development, DNA tests on another 2 tiger cubs, “Khao Mao” and “Khao Pluak”, show they too were not born at the park. The park operator had claimed the cubs were the offspring of parenting tigers, “Do Do” and “Ma Feung”, but the DNA tests show otherwise. The DNP believes these cubs were also smuggled into the facility.

The full article was published by The Taiger on March 10, 2021.