Thai authorities have arrested a 40 year old man for illegally selling protected wild birds onlineclaiming he needed the money for his child’s medical expenses. The man, identified as Tatsana Pohtong, was apprehended at his home in Songkhla province with 29 caged birds in his possession. The arrest followed an investigation into his Facebook posts advertising the sale of the birds, which are listed as protected species.
Yesterday, a joint operation by several police units, including the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division, led to the capture of Tatsana at his residence in the Hat Yai district. The seized evidence included six cages containing a total of 29 Helmeted Hornbills, also known as White-crowned Hornbills, a species protected by Thai law. Alongside the birds, authorities confiscated four wooden cages and one metal cage.
The investigation was spurred by Tatsana’s Facebook activity, where he used his account to offer the birds for sale. His posts boasted of the birds’ origin, directly from Myanmar, and their quality. Upon interrogation, Tatsana confessed to buying the birds from another trader in Nakhon Si Thammarat province for 550 baht (US$15) each and reselling them on Facebook at various prices ranging from 600 (US$16.71) to 1,500 baht (US$41.77). Tatsana claimed ignorance of the legal protections for these birds and justified his actions by explaining he needed funds to treat his child, who had suffered severe scalding, reported KhaoSod.
Tatsana now faces charges under the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act for possession and trade of protected wildlife without a permit. He has been taken into custody at the Hat Yai Police Station for legal proceedings. This case highlights the ongoing issue of wildlife trafficking and the importance of enforcing conservation laws to protect endangered species.
In related news, Chinese customs seized 16 live sailfin lizards concealed in a woman’s undergarments at Futian Port, Shenzhen, amid a surge in the illegal pet trade. Officials awaited inspection by wildlife experts.