Police found four tigers inside an abandoned car in Udon Thani's Muang district yesterday morning. The tigers, kept in plastic boxes tied up with wires, were still alive and believed to be around two or three years of age.
Officers said the car had hit a motorcycle earlier in the day and sped away, before being abandoned when one of its tyres was punctured. The car’s engine was still running when police arrived at the scene.
Further investigation found that somebody had placed an order for four tigers.
“Each tiger can fetch about Bt300,000,” Udon Thani’s deputy police chief Colonel Surin Chaichomphu said, adding that rich people in a neighbouring country often took tigers in as pets to show off their wealth.
According to witnesses, the car driver had jumped into a pick-up truck that had apparently come to pick him up.
Surin went on to say that police had identified the car owner as Chidchai Boriboon, who will be summoned for questioning.
Paponwat Chaiarkarapong, from the Protected Area Administration Regional Office 10, said the tigers had clearly been sedated for easy transportation.
“They must have been raised in a farm as they showed no signs of anxiety around humans. Also their claws had been removed,” he said, adding that the tigers would be nursed to health at a wildlife sanctuary before they are released in wilderness later