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Tiger temple: Govt removal under secret settlement?

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Secret govt settlement with 70 tigers removed & 77 remaining so 100 million a year tourism business can continue, says one source.


Govt begins removing tigers from scandal-tainted temple

Piyarach Chongcharoen

KANCHANABURI - Five tigers were seized late Thursday from the scandal tainted Tiger Temple, the first move by the government to take away big cats from monks facing renewed allegations of wildlife trafficking (see full story here).

Government wildlife officials used tranquiliser guns to sedate and place the tigers from the Tiger Temple [full name: Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yanasampanno] in two six-wheeled trucks which took them to wildlife conservation centres (wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife reserves) in Ratchaburi province, the Khao Son and Khao Prathub Chang animal reserves.

Thailand-based wildlife activists hailed the move.

300 monks and temple staff at the temple, led by the abbot, blocked a road and prevented government wildlife officials from removing six Asiatic black bears, a protected species list under the 1992 Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act. The temple is alleged to make 100 million baht a year from running an illegal wild animal business. Piyarath.


The move comes after the temple backpedalled on last week's reported agreement to give up custody of the giant cats, which have earned the Tiger Temple an estimated 100 million baht a year in tourism revenue for the past decade.

During the same period, monks there have been accused of speed breeding and selling off tigers illegally.

Moves to remove the tigers gained momentum in 2014 when three of its 147 captive tigers reportedly disappeared.

The results of an investigation published in the National Geographic magazine recently indicate that tigers have been taken illegally to and from the temple since at least 2004.

Buddhist monk blocking road in protest so that 100 million baht a year illegal business can continue at Buddhist temple, preventing protected wildlife species being removed by government and placed in wildlife sanctuary so they can live without being exploited for profit.


Earlier this month, the Tiger Temple foundation sued the government, seeking 147.4 million baht, plus 7.5% annual interest, to cover the costs of caring for the tigers that have made the temple a popular and profitable tourism business for a decade.

The Court of First Instance accepted the case and the trial will begin in February.

Another source said that the temple and the government had reached an agreement (legal settlement).

Under the agreement, 70 tigers could be removed while the remaining 77 would be kept at the temple for tourism purposes so the temple's tourism business can continue to earn money.

The remaining tigers would be placed in a zoo the foundation is building.

However, there has been no disclosure of such an agreement to the public.

The latest count in March 2015 indicated that the temple had 147 tigers, but it is possible that around 30-50 tiger cubs were born and not registered.

Meanwhile, there has been no update from either the temple or the government's wildlife department regarding the missing tigers.


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accused : to be said to have done something wrong or committed a crime - ถูกกล่าวหา

activist : someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation - นักกิจกรรม

allegations (noun): accusations - ข้อกล่าวหา

annual : happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี

backpedalled : to not do something that you said you would do; reverse decision -

based : living or working in a particular placed; located in a particular place - อาศัย

breeding : the producing of young animals, plants, etc - การผสมพันธุ์สัตว์เพื่อขยายพันธุ์

captive : kept as a prisoner or in a confined space - ไม่สามารถหนีได้

case : a matter that is being officially investigated or heard by a court - คดี

conservation (noun): the protection of plants and animals, natural areas, and interesting and important structures and buildings, especially from the damaging effects of human activity - การอนุรักษ์ธรรมชาติ, การป้องกันความสูญเสีย, การสงวนไว้

court of first instance : the court where the first trial was held, for a legal case that in being appealed in a higher court -

cover costs : be the one who pay for things -

custody : the legal right to look after a child/animal, etc. - สิทธิในการดูแล

decade : a period of ten years - ทศวรรษ

depart : to leave - ออกจาก

disappear : to move something or someone somewhere where they can no longer be seen - หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย

disclosure : information or a fact that is made known or public that was previously secret or private - การเปิดเผย

estimated : thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ

exploit : to use for your own benefit - หาประโยชน์จาก

foundation : an organisation that provides money for things such as medical research or for a charity - มูลนิธิ

give up : to give someone else such as govt or police something that you have and they want -

illegal : against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย

illegally : in a way that is against the law - อย่างผิดกฎหมาย

indicate : to show that something is true, exists or will happen - แสดง, ทำให้รู้

investigation : the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened - การสอบสวน, การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง

legal : relating to the law - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย

meanwhile : at the same time - ในเวลาเดียวกัน

missing : not present after an accident, natural disaster, battle, etc. but not known to have been killed - ไม่พบ,หายไป, สูญหาย

momentum : progress or development that is becoming faster or stronger - แรงผลักดัน

move (noun): action -

national park (noun): a park run by the government of a country - สวนสาธารณะแห่งชาติ, อุทยานแห่งชาติ

officials : people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

popular (adj): a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

profit : money that you make from selling goods and services after all your costs have been paid - กำไร

profitable : able to earn money and expenses are subtracted - ให้ผลกำไร,ได้ผลประโยชน์

protect : to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc - ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน

province : one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด

purpose (noun): the intention, aim or function of something; the thing that something is supposed to achieve - จุดประสงค์, เป้าหมาย, วัตถุประสงค์

recently (adverb): not long ago - เมื่อไม่นานมานี้, เมื่อเร็วๆ นี้

regarding : concerning somebody/something; about somebody/something - เกี่ยวกับ

registered (adj): to be on an official list; to be on an official list of names of people who are allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, sell something, stay in a hotel etc - ซึ่งลงทะเบียนไว้

remaining : continuing to be present; still existing - ยังเหลืออยู่

remove (verb): to take something away - เอาออก

reportedly : as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) - ตามที่รายงาน

reserve (noun): a protected area set aside for animals, trees and plants - เขตสงวน

revenue : income from taxes or business activities - รายได้

sanctuary : a place where birds or animals can live and be protected, especially from hunters or dangerous conditions - เขตสงวนพันธุ์สัตว์ป่า

scandal (noun): a situation in which people behave in a dishonest or immoral way that shocks people - เรื่องอื้อฉาว

sedate : to quiet someone usually by giving them a drug - ทำให้เงียบ

seek : to try to obtain or achieve something - พยายามได้มา

settlement : a formal agreement that ends a disagreement - ข้อตกลง, การทำข้อตกลง

source : a place where information comes from; someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว

species : a kind of animal -

sued : legal action taken against a person or organisation, especially by making a legal claim for money because of some harm that they have caused you - ฟ้องร้อง

tainted : spoiled by an unpleasant quality or feature - มัวหมอง มีมลทิน แปดเปื้อน

trafficking : dealing in illegal goods, like drugs, weapons or in illegally moving humans or animals from one place to another - การค้าสิ่งที่ผิดกฎหมาย

tranquiliser (noun): a drug used to reduce anxiety - ยาสงบประสาทหลัก

trial (noun): the process of judges examining a legal case in a court of law and making a legal decision about it - การพิจารณาและตัดสินคดี

update : the most recent information or news about something - ข้อมูลใหม่ๆ

wildlife : animals, birds, insects, etc. that are wild and live in a natural environment - สัตว์ป่า

wildlife reserve (noun): an area where wild animals/plants are protected - เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่า

wildlife sanctuary : a place where birds or animals can live and be protected, especially from hunters or dangerous conditions - เขตสงวนพันธุ์สัตว์ป่า


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