Tigers and bears rescued from Phuket zoo closed after tourism crisis
PHUKET, Thailand, June 7 (Reuters) – The last tigers and a bear were rescued from Phuket Zoo in Thailand on Tuesday, after the zoo was closed last year due to the pandemic.
A lack of tourists plunged the zoo into financial difficulties and forced it to close at the end of 2021, but several animals were left without adequate care.
A total of 11 tigers and 2 bears needed to be rescued, said Edwin Wiek, founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT). The group recovered the last three animals on Tuesday.
They will be taken to a WFFT-run wildlife rescue center in central Petchaburi province because they cannot return to the wild, Wiek said.
Tourism in Thailand has suffered an 18-month hiatus due to the coronavirus outbreak. The country is aiming for 5 to 15 million arrivals this year.
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Reporting by Jorge Silva; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor and Alexandra Hudson
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