KANCHANABURI, Thailand (AP) — A Buddhist temple that showed live tigers for tourists until the government shut it down has denied that its abbot was involved in illegal trafficking of the big cats.
Last week, Thailand's wildlife authority shut down the temple after the discovery of dozens of cubs in freezers and jars on the premises. It also moved more than 137 tigers from the temple grounds to rescue shelters. Police also discovered a slaughterhouse believed to be used in a suspected animal trafficking network.
Siri Wangboongerd, a spokesman of the temple in Kanchanaburi, said "many crimes" appear to have been committed at the temple. But, he told a news conference, that "what happened here wasn't done by the abbot because he does not manage this place."