Asian Black Bears Seized From Thailand's Tiger Temple

Thai wildlife officials seize Asian black bears from the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province, Thailand, 03 April 2015. Thai officials seized at least six illegally possessed Asian black bears from the Tiger Temple, which has been allegedly abusing and trafficking wild animals. EPA/STR THAILAND OUT

BANGKOK (DPA) — Authorities seized six Asian black bears from Thailand's famous Tiger Temple after a standoff with monks and disciples, local media reported Saturday.

Officials were blocked from entering the temple grounds earlier in the week. 

The bears were discovered Wednesday when wildlife officers visited the temple to investigate a report of three missing tigers.

Officials said the temple was not authorized to have Asian black bears, which are a protected species.

Hornbill birds and Siamese fireback pheasant were previously confiscated from the temple located 180 kilometres northwest of Bangkok.

Officials said they would continue to investigate the report of missing tigers.

Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, or Tiger Temple, is a Buddhist monastery that specializes as an animal sanctuary and tiger-breeding facility.

The tourist attraction is home to more than 100 tigers and other species.

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