BANGKOK - More than half of the tigers that Thai authorities confiscated in 2016 from an infamous Tiger Temple tourist attraction have died from a viral disease because their immune systems were weakened by inbreeding, media reported.

The Buddhist temple west of Bangkok was a tourist destination where visitors took selfies with tigers and bottle-fed cubs until authorities removed its nearly 150 tigers in 2016 in response to global pressure over wildlife trafficking.

The confiscated animals were taken to two state-run sanctuaries but it soon became apparent they were susceptible to canine distemper virus, said a senior official from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

“When we took the tigers in, we noted that they had no immune system due to inbreeding,” the department’s deputy director-general, Prakit Vongsrivattanakul, told the state-owned broadcaster MCOT on the weekend.