Tiger cubs seized, park suspected of smuggling

Tiger cubs seized, park suspected of smuggling

One of the five tigers seized by park officials is removed from  Mukda Tiger Park & Farm in Mukdahan on Monday. (Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation photo)
One of the five tigers seized by park officials is removed from Mukda Tiger Park & Farm in Mukdahan on Monday. (Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation photo)

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) on Monday impounded five tiger cubs suspected of being illegally smuggled from a private zoo in Mukdahan.

The cubs were taken from Mukda Suan Sua (Mukda Tiger Park & Farm) in tambon Bang Sai Yai, Muang district and placed in the custody of the DNP's Chulaphorn Wildlife Captive Breeding Centre in Si Sa Ket.

Officials ran DNA tests on the animals and confirmed three of them were not related to any local tigers in the park and therefore thought to have been smuggled in, said Prakit Wongsriwattanakul, deputy director-general of DNP. Meanwhile, the results of DNA tests on a further 20 tigers, including two cubs, will be released before the end of December.

The cubs' seizure is a follow-up from an early crackdown at the tiger park in January 2018, when DNP officials had confiscated various locally protected species, including red pandas, grey-shanked doucs (monkeys) and elongated tortoises.

The owner of the tiger park faces up to five years in prison if convicted of smuggling in wildlife species.

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