Dozens of tigers rescued from Thai temple die due to genetic problems

Bangkok: More than half of the 147 tigers confiscated from a controversial Thai temple have died, park officials said Monday, blaming genetic problems linked to in-breeding at the once money-spinning tourist attraction.

For years, the Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua temple in the western province of Kanchanaburi pulled tourist hordes who could be photographed for a fee next to scores of tigers.

But in 2016 park officials began a lengthy operation to remove the big cats amid allegations of mismanagement, and claims the creatures were being exploited.

Dozens of dead cubs were found kept in freezers, sparking claims the carcasses were being sold by a temple rumoured to have raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from visitors.

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