Special Investigation: Famous Tiger Temple Implicated in Illegal Trade

National Geographic
Published January 21, 2016

The Tiger Temple investigation won the ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Arlene Award “for an article that makes a difference,” 2016

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In December 2014, three adult tigers went missing from the famed Tiger Temple in Thailand. According to information presented to National Geographic, these tigers may have become victims of the illegal wildlife trade, with the knowledge of the temple. This popular tourist destination presents itself as a sanctuary for wildlife, but conservationists and former temple insiders have uncovered evidence that tells a different story.

This video was edited in about two days after reporter Sharon Guynup was sent exclusive video of animal trafficking at a popular tourist attraction in Thailand. She had already done a lot of background reporting, visiting the temple and interviewing monks, but the new footage pulled the story together. Sharon, video editor and producer Jennifer Murphy and I quickly and carefully wrote a script to explain what the video showed and how it matched documents the reporter had uncovered. We cleared our edit with in-house lawyers, and coordinated with social teams to prepare other versions. The story had immediate consequences, with the Thai government raiding, and later closing the facility.

Shorter edit for Facebook: