Five tiger cubs seized in Thai police wildlife haul

Feb 20, 2014
Handout photo obtained on December 12, 2012 from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows a veterinary team from the wildlife forensic unit taking blood samples to trace the DNA of a tiger cubs seized from smugglers on October 26, 2012 in Thailand

Thai police said Thursday they have seized five wild tiger cubs along with hundreds of other animals being smuggled to neighbouring Laos, for apparent onward sale in Vietnam or China as delicacies.

Highway officers on Wednesday stopped a pick-up truck in the northeast which was apparently headed for the Laotian border, a policeman told AFP.

A search revealed the endangered tiger cubs, all of them around a month old.

There were also hundreds of other creatures including monitor lizards and turtles, he said, adding traffickers use Thailand as a transit point to Laos and then to buyers in lucrative Asian markets.

"The final destination is either Vietnam or China where they like to eat these animals," according to Captain Pornchai Sangsila.

"The tigers will normally be kept in Laos for one year to be raised before being sold on."

Two Thai men have been charged with illegal possession of protected .

Television showed footage from Wednesday night of the baby tigers cradled by handlers and being bottle-fed milk.

Under international law the trade in tigers and tiger parts is strictly banned, except for non-commercial reasons such as scientific research.

Thailand is one of just 13 countries hosting fragile tiger populations—estimated at fewer than 300 in the wild—and is a hub of international smuggling.

Worldwide, tiger numbers are estimated to have fallen to only 3,200 from about 100,000 a century ago.

Wildlife experts say the kingdom is also a globally significant trade hub for turtles and tortoises and have urged authorities to do more to arrest and prosecute high-level smugglers.

Explore further: Almost 500 protected turtles found in Thai airport bags

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Almost 500 protected turtles found in Thai airport bags

Nov 07, 2013

Thai customs have found over a thousand turtles and tortoises in airport luggage in a week, including a haul of 470 creatures Friday as conservationists warn of "skyrocketing" smuggling for the pet trade.

Interpol campaign to protect threatened tiger

Nov 02, 2011

Interpol on Wednesday launched a new campaign to coordinate the global fight against tiger poaching, warning that failure to protect the endangered cats would have economic and social repercussions.

Thai police seize nearly 200 pangolins

Sep 17, 2013

Thai police Tuesday said they had seized almost 200 live protected pangolins, which are prized in China and Vietnam as an exotic meal and for use in traditional medicine.

Forest dam threatens Thailand's tigers: WWF

Aug 29, 2012

A proposed dam that would flood part of a national park in western Thailand represents a "significant new threat" to the kingdom's tigers, wildlife group WWF warned on Wednesday.

Rare Sumatran tiger cubs born at US zoo

Aug 08, 2013

Two rare Sumatran tiger cubs were born this week at the National Zoo in the US capital, in what zookeepers described Thursday as a conservation victory for the critically endangered cats.

Recommended for you

Global wild tiger population to be counted by 2016

6 hours ago

Thirteen countries with wild tiger populations agreed Tuesday to take part in a global count to establish how many of the critically endangered animals are left and improve policies to protect them.

Scientists discover tropical tree microbiome in Panama

21 hours ago

Human skin and gut microbes influence processes from digestion to disease resistance. Despite the fact that tropical forests are the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems on the planet, more is known about ...

How are hybridized species affecting wildlife?

Sep 15, 2014

Researchers who transplanted combinations of wild, domesticated, and domesticated-wild hybridized populations of a fish species to new environments found that within 5 to 11 generations, selection could remove ...

User comments : 0