The tigers, which had been drugged, were in plastic cases on the front seat, back seat and in the trunk of the car, which was left by a public pond in Nong Phai village on Wednesday morning, according to a report in Thairath.
Boonkhum Kaewongsa, headman of Ban Nong Phai, said he was told the man who drove the car fled after an accident about 6.30am. The driver was later given a ride by a pickup truck, he said.
Villagers said the car's engine was still on but the vehicle's left tyre was flat. No one was claiming the vehicle, so they decided to open it up.
Mr Boonkhum said the young tigers were still sleepy in their boxes, and he quickly informed the police. The four young tigers were thought to be aged two to three years.
Pol Col Surin Chaichompoo, deputy commander of Udon Thani police, said the police suspected the tigers were raised in a farm in the North or the South of Thailand and were being delivered to a buyer in a neighbouring country. Police found the purchase order, which valued the tigers at around 300,000 baht.
The police knew the identity of the vehicle’s owner, and he would be called in for investigation.