There has been a recent revival in the fortunes of Thailand’s wildlife populations, especially in National Parks across the country. Camera traps have shown many threatened species growing in number and some animals thought to be in danger of extinction thriving in the wild.
A diminishing habitat has been one of the issues being addressed however there is also a need for wildlife protection staff to be constantly vigilant to the dangers posed by wildlife poachers.
The case of a very significant find in Phatthalung Province has shown why that vigilance is necessary after a Special Operations Task Force discovered the remains of over 30 protected wildlife species.
Officers arrested Mr. Thanasit Went on January 20th at Ratchaburi with charges layed for trafficking and possession of protected wildlife under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act 2019. Further investigations were carried out leading to the arrest of a second man in Phatthalung province.
The remains included those of hornbills, pangolin, tigers, leopards, bears and elephants. This was a significant find indicating a planned approach to wildlife trapping with a big impact on many endangered species. Further investigations will follow aiming to uncover the extent of the operation.
The penalties available for wildlife offences include Section 17, Section 92 of the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act, 2019 with offenders liable to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding 5 years or to a fine of not exceeding five hundred thousand. baht or both
Trading in protected wildlife of the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act B.E. 2562 includes liability to imprisonment for not over 10 years or a fine not exceeding one million baht or both.