Police and wildlife officials were called to the Phatthalung-Hat Yai section of the highway at Moo 4 village in tambon Ta Kae after three suspicious bags containing parts of a dead tiger were discovered at the scene.
The team searched the bags and found parts of two hind legs and a front leg, weighing 65 kilogrammes. The head and torso of the tiger, believed to be a female aged six to seven, were not found, according to Pol Lt Col Chakchai Payabchaikul, commander of the 237th Border Patrol Police company.
The road where the tiger parts were dumped leads to Phatthalung town, and police were manning several checkpoints on the route. The wildlife trafficking gang may have thrown away the animal parts to avoid a police search, Pol Lt Col Chakchai said.
He believed the tiger was killed and smuggled from one of the three southernmost provinces - Pattani, Yala or Narathiwat.
A kilogramme of tiger flesh can be sold in the local wildlife black market for 4,000 baht. The seized carcass parts could be worth up to 250,000 baht locally, and 350,000 baht if smuggled to China.
Below: Border patrol police show the parts of the tiger carcass they discovered by the roadside in the South. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)