Thai highway police confiscated four tiger carcasses, believed to have been smuggled from Malaysia, in Hua Hin on Monday (5 Jan).
National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department chief Upai Wayupat told the Bangkok Post daily that the carcasses would undergo genetic testing to determine if they were domesticated or otherwise.
He said the tests, to be conducted by a team of veterinarians at Kasetsart University’s Kamphaeng Saen campus, would take up to two weeks.
“If they were captive tigers, officials will investigate which farms they came from,” said Upai, adding that breeding tigers was currently a popular business as wildlife smugglers could fetch as much as a million baht (RM1 = 9.9 bahts) for a tiger.
Highway police seized the severed heads and carcasses of the tigers from a truck in Hua Hin district, about three hours’ drive from Bangkok.
The police believe the animals were being transported from Malaysia to China.
According to Upai, Thailand was a major transit point for wildlife smuggling.
According to the department’s figures, there were 638 cases of illegal wildlife trading over the past four-years, resulting in 2,910 mammals, 15,940 birds, 941 reptiles and 10 fish being confiscated by the authorities.