Forty dead tiger cubs were found Wednesday in a freezer at a Buddhist temple that operated as an admission-charging zoo, a national parks official said.
The discovery happened while authorities were removing mostly full-grown live tigers from the temple in western Kanchanaburi province following accusations that monks were involved in illegal breeding and trafficking of the animals.
The cubs were found in a freezer where the temple staff kept food, said Anusorn Noochdumrong, an official from the Department of National Parks who has been overseeing the transfer of the temple's 137 tigers to shelters. On Monday and Tuesday, 40 were tranquilized and removed.
"We don't know why the temple decided to keep these cubs in the freezer," Anusorn said. "We will collect these carcasses for DNA analysis."