Tiger beheaded at private zoo
Thai authorities have seized a beheaded tiger and other dismembered animal corpses during a raid at a private Thai zoo.
While raiding the Mukda Tiger Park Farm in Mukdahan in Isaan province, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) seized multiple big cats being kept at the park.
Local Thai reports claimed some of the animals were dead, and photos of a severed tiger's head were shared by Thai news sites. Five tiger cubs, believed to have been illegally smuggled, were also seized in the operation.
Officials conducted DNA tests on three of the five cubs seized, and found they were not related to any of the tigers in the Mudka Tiger Park Farm. The results suggest the tigers had been smuggled into the park, according to DNP director general Prakit Wongsriwattanakul.
Further DNA tests on another 20 tigers from the zoo, including two cubs, will be released by the end of the year. If found guilty of smuggling tigers the owner of the zoo faces up to five years in prison, the Bangkok Post reports.
The same private zoo was investigated by officials just two years ago, when the DNP seized a number of protected species from the park including red pandas, elongated tortoises and grey-shanked douc monkeys.
The most recent raid was a follow up from the 2018 investigation.
The zoo's licence has been suspended for a 90 day period and the animals have since been transported to a conservation facility.
Originally published as Tiger beheaded at private zoo