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Headcount Starts Amid Roaring Dispute Over Thai Temple Tigers

The New Indian Express, Kanchanaburi, 25th April, 2015


Kanchanaburi:- Thai wild life official began a head-count on Friday of nearly 150 tigers kept by monks at a temple which has become the Centre of a dispute over the welfare of the animals.


Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua in Thailand's western Kanchanaburi province-commonly  known as "The Tiger Temple known as "The Tiger Temple- has long proved a hit among tourists who flock there to visit the monks and be photographed next to their huge feline pets.


 But the authorities say the temple has been keeping the animals without the proper paperwork and have vowed to seize them, sparking stand-offs in recent weeks between officials and angry monks blocking their way.


 Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) said earlier this week it planned to take the animals away on Friday. But when officials arrived at the temple on Friday morning, they contented themselves with counting the tigers, most of whom are microchipped, to ascertain how many there are in the sanctuary.