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Dogs raiding morgues in tsunami-hit Thailand

The dogs even manage to get into body bags to feed on the corpses, relief workers say.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Phang Nga
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2005 09:22 AM IST

At a Buddhist temple used as a morgue and elsewhere in tsunami disaster zones, hungry stray dogs have been feeding on victims' corpses, even managing to get into body bags to do so, relief workers say.

It has become such a problem that a group of Thai veterinarians, armed with tranquiliser guns, has been given the task of capturing the strays.

"The dogs are starving and they just eat any meat," said Dr Kiartisak Rojnirandorn of Thailand's Foundation for Stray Dogs.

More than 60 dogs have been seized, including 40 around the Yan Yao Buddhist temple, which has become a makeshift mortuary in Phang Nga, one of Thailand's worst-hit provinces with more than 4,000 people killed.

Some 2,000 bodies are being kept in the temple, while undergoing autopsies and other identification attempts.

Most have been kept refrigerated, but some newly found ones sometimes lay on the open ground pending a post-mortem exam.

The vets' goal is to make the area affected by the tsunami a "stray-dog free zone." They plan to send the captured dogs to a sanctuary in western Thailand.

"These dogs are smart. They can unzip body bags and eat the corpses inside," said Tohboon Sappasri, a Thai volunteer who has taken a two-month leave from his job in the United States to help tsunami victims.

Before the tsunami, most probably weren't strays but house pets whose masters were killed in the disaster.

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