The investigation is looking at all zoos with tigers in Thailand.
When: January 14th, 2021
Where: Hua Hin Safari Zoo
What: Authorities from the National Park Authority, police, and the Natural Resources and Environment department seized 2 tigers from the Hua Hin Safari on January 14th, 2021. This was in connection with a case from November 30th, 2020, at a Mukdahan zoo that was found to have 5 illegally smuggled tiger cubs.
The Mukdahan cubs were not related to any of the adult tigers at that zoo after DNA tests were done. This meant that the tiger cubs at Mukdahan were smuggled illegally, and the owner of the zoo claimed that tigers they owned had given birth to the cubs. The owner of that zoo was charged for having protected wildlife without permission and giving false statements to authorities.
The investigation started to look at where the cubs could have been sourced. DNA evidence was found to link the 5 cubs in Mukdahan to the 2 cubs found at the Hua Hin Safari Zoo. This means that they are likely from the same source at both zoos. A search warrant was issued and 2 tiger cubs were seized from the park and taken to the Wildlife Forensics Center.
After the case in Mukdahan, all 32 zoo operations with tigers and tiger cubs were scrutinized in Thailand. It appears that the efforts and investigation has paid off.
Link to original story about Mukdahan: https://truecrimethailand.com/5-illegal-tiger-cubs-found-zoo-mukdahan/
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My take: This is exactly why I cover stories like this. I like to know how cases evolve and the follow up on them over time. It was already 2.5 months since the initial news broke about the illegally smuggled cubs in Mukdahan. Now I will be reading news reports closely to see how the case in Hua Hin plays out.
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