DNA evidence stops tiger trafficking in Thailand
On the 4th April in Chaiyaphum, Thailand; two tigers were seized from a private zoo by the Thai Nature Crime Police. The owner of the zoo was charged for the second time in a year for the illegal possession of protected wildlife.
The case against the owner became strong when he claimed cubs within the zoo were offspring of his legally owned adult tigers. The Thai police and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) then carried out DNA analysis on the legally owned adult tigers which proved that the cubs were not the offspring. The owner of the zoo was arrested but later released on a £2,000 bail. If the owner is found guilty in court, his zoo licence will be revoked.
This case could not have been conducted without the DNP’s recent investment in DNA analysis technology. This provides a new scientific way within Thailand to crack down on wildlife criminals. The owner of the zoo has been at the centre of a two year investigation looking into the source of trafficked tigers through Thailand to Vietnam. Authorities now believe that the ‘zoo’ was a cover for the illegal international trafficking of protected and endangered wildlife.
David Shepherd stated, ‘this case shows how new technology has a huge part to play in stopping the illegal trade of wildlife worldwide. And, with that trade now worth an estimated £7 billion, we have to use everything at our disposal to try and stop it.’
The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation funds undercover investigations, DNA research and anti-poaching teams to help stop wildlife traffickers in their tracks.
This story was brought to TigerTime from FREELAND Foundation, an international organisation that is dedicated to stopping the illegal wildlife trade. FREELAND are funded by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, which runs TigerTime.
Written by: Chantelle M Henderson
Source: FREELAND Foundation