Park officials arrest abbot for possession of endangered wildlife remains in Hua Hin

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Park officials have arrested the abbot of a local monastery in Bueng Nakhon Subdistrict in Hua Hin for possessing remains of endangered and protected wildlife.

Mr. Somjet Janthana, Director of Protected Areas Regional Office 3 (Phetchaburi Branch), revealed that he received a report from Mr. Teerasak Praimee, head of the patrol and suppression unit of the Wildlife Conservation Division, Protected Areas Regional Office 3 (Phetchaburi Branch).

The report stated that officials had collaborated to arrest the abbot of a monastery in Bueng Nakhon Subdistrict in Hua Hin. The confiscated items included three serow heads, 11 yellow tortoises, one giant Asian pond turtle, one elongated tortoise, and one pig-tailed macaque. The suspect was taken for questioning.

Previously, officials received complaints that the monastery in question possessed a large number of endangered and protected wildlife remains without permission. This led to a search, where they found one pig-tailed macaque tied to a tree and 13 tortoises being kept in a cement pond. Additionally, inside the abbot’s quarters, three serow heads were found hanging on the wall.

No evidence of legal possession was found. Initially, the abbot confessed that the pig-tailed macaque was given by a relative when it was young, and out of pity, he raised it. The tortoises were caught by villagers from the forest and offered to him multiple times, leading him to create an enclosure for them. The three serow heads were also brought by villagers and displayed on the wall of his quarters. Subsequently, he was arrested.

Initially, officials charged him with possessing remains of endangered and protected wildlife without permission. This offense carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to 500,000 THB, or both.

The suspect was sent to the Nong Plub Police Station, Hua Hin Districtfor legal proceedings. The confiscated items were sent to Huai Sai Wildlife Breeding Station in Cha-am for safekeeping.

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