On December 16th, Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) spearheaded a crucial rescue operation, liberating twelve tigers and three leopards from a northern Thailand tiger farm embroiled in alleged illegal wildlife trading. This action, prompted by legal measures against the farm, signals the opening phase of Thailand’s most extensive NGO-led rescue endeavor, aiming to save a total of 35 tigers.
The initial operation prioritized the liberation of elderly tigers and ailing leopards in dire need of immediate medical attention. Notably, among the rescued animals were an emaciated elderly tiger and a twenty-year-old male tiger grappling with respiratory issues. These creatures, previously confined in cramped concrete enclosures, have found refuge at WFFT’s sanctuary.
Situated in Phetchaburi’s Tiger Rescue Center, the sanctuary spans over seventeen acres, providing a semblance of natural habitat where the rescued tigers can freely roam, swim, and engage in social activities.
In Thailand, approximately 1,700 tigers endure captivity within tiger farms, bred for purposes ranging from zoo trade and exotic pets to traditional medicine involving their body parts. In stark contrast, the country’s wild landscape shelters critically endangered species like the Indochinese and Malayan tigers, their population dwindling to an estimated 189.