Picture courtesy of Bangkok Put up

The private ownership of wild animals, notably lions, has come below scrutiny in Thailand following a number of incidents the place these creatures had been noticed in public areas. The difficulty has sparked widespread concern among the many public relating to safety and animal welfare.

The primary case surfaced in January when a lion cub was observed within the backseat of a flowery convertible in Pattaya. Concurrently, one other cub was noticed wandering in a residential space in Bang Lamung district, Chon Buri. An investigation into the latter incident revealed that two 10-month-old lion cubs had been being stored in a house. Days later, two extra cubs, aged 9 months and two months respectively, had been present in distressing situations in a café on Sukhumvit Soi 4. One other cub was confiscated from a Phuket lodge room on February 14.

The authorities, on studying about these incidents, swiftly seized the animals and pressed prices in opposition to the homeowners, which included unlawful possession of wild animals, preserving protected wildlife with out permission, and shifting wild animals with out applicable documentation.

The Division of Nationwide Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has 67 wild animals on its managed listing below the Preserved and Protected Wildlife Regulation. Lions are one of the ten deemed harmful, together with animals just like the Bornean orangutan, inexperienced anaconda, chimpanzee, Sumatran orangutan, jaguar, cheetah, gorilla, mountain gorilla, and dwarf chimpanzee. Commerce of these animals is permitted solely by licensed farms.

The legislation does enable private people and zoos to import or possess harmful animals, however they have to adhere to particular guidelines and laws. Any particular person holding a managed animal should inform the authorities and safe permission. Permits are granted solely after guaranteeing the holders can present good dwelling situations for the animals, by animal welfare norms, and assure public safety.

Prasert Sornsathapornkul, the director of the Wild Fauna and Flora Safety Division, said that many wild animal homeowners lack a correct understanding of the legislation. He emphasised that whereas the legislation permits possession of such animals, it’s essential to keep up a protected habitat that doesn’t jeopardise or disrupt the neighborhood.

The extent of lion ownership

The division’s data present that 223 lions are owned by 37 people throughout the nation. The inspection course of is predicted to conclude by March, which can present a clearer perspective on coping with this challenge. Prasert additionally famous that proudly owning lions has turn out to be a standing image among the many rich because of the animals’ excessive worth, with costs exceeding 100,000 baht (US$2,783), reported Bangkok Put up.

Nonetheless, concerns have been raised in regards to the chance of wildlife crimes, such because the sale of lion pores and skin, intercourse organs, and tooth. Edwin Wiek, founder of Wildlife Mates Basis Thailand (WFFT), has urged the division to reject particular person ownership of lions. He warned of potential points sooner or later the place homeowners, unable to take care of the animals, might abandon them with the division, resulting in a misuse of taxpayers’ cash. He additionally found a pig farm in Chachoengsao province that stored greater than ten lions, elevating suspicions about their supposed commerce.

In associated information, Thai police and wildlife officers launched a manhunt for a lion cub used for tourism in Phuket. Authorized proceedings ensued as authorities investigated the cub’s ownership and transportation.

Thailand Information