“On January 10, Khao Phra Ta Khao Wildlife Sanctuary officers joined with police and arrested one of the suspects touting slow lorises on Kata Beach,” said Chief Piyawat Sukon.
“We caught her through a tip-off given by a tourist. But it is better not to name the suspect.
“The fine amount is to be decided by court order,” said Mr Piyawat.
“We told her that if she is caught again, the punishment will be very heavy,” he added.
Mr Piyawat added that the slow loris will be taken to Phang-Nga Wildlife Nursery Station where it will be rehabilitated.
“Thank you for helping the public to communicate with us,” he said.
The arrest came after a photo of a male slow loris tout on Karon Beach was sent to The Phuket News and forwarded to Mr Piyawat on Dec 7. (See story here.)
The beach inspections that followed yielded no suspects as Mr Piyawat believed the touts recognised the officials’ vehicles and hid.
“The touts had either run away or were hiding. We could not find any suspects,” said Mr Piyawat on Dec 14. (See story here).
“However, be assured that we will check again soon,” he added.
Mr Piyawat also clarified to The Phuket News that he welcomed anyone to report sightings of illegal possession and mistreatment of wild animals directly to him on 089-873-7749.
“You can report these sightings to me directly. I speak basic English, if you are a foreigner, please speak simply and say what animal you saw, where, and when, or other important details,” he added.