Authorities seized 47 protected animals, including crocodiles, at a Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi province on Monday.
About 100 police and officials attached to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation went to Wat Phothisat Banpot Nimit in Muang district this morning to inspect possession documents for protected wildlife and carcasses after authorities raided the monastery and found about 80 live wild creatures on Friday.
Friday’s raid occurred after the department received complaints from tourists that they saw a large number of wild species locked in cages and a large quantity of elephant bones on the temple premises. Officials were told that the temple’s abbot had documents for all the animals, but he had gone to another province and would return on Monday. They seized the animals pending inspection of the documents.
Pol Lt Col Narongdej Kamolbutra, deputy chief of Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division 5, who led the raid, said an inspection had found the temple did not have possession documents for 47 protected animals and a complete elephant skeleton made up of about 70 bones. The animals included an Asiatic black bear, crocodiles, hawk eagles, monitor lizards and turtles.
The animals would be transferred to Khao Son Foster Centre for Wild Animals and Khao Pratab Chang Foster Centre for Wild Animals in Ratchaburi province, Pol Lt Col Narongdej said.
Police took Phra Pattana, the temple’s acting abbot, in for questioning as the abbot had not returned to the temple.
Source: Bangkok Post