ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Wildlife trafficking continues in Thailand
Chatuchak Market in Bangkok is world famous and often a “must-see” for tourists while visiting Thailand. The market covers about eight football fields and sells items of all description.
However, one facet of Chatuchak’s business-the selling of wild animals- has grabbed some recent headlines. An Indonesian man was arrested this week at Suvarnabhumi Airport with three suitcases filled with a menagerie:
88 Indian Star tortoises
34 ball pythons
33 elongated tortoises
22 common squirrels
19 bearded dragons
18 baboon spiders
7 radiated tortoises
6 Argentine horned frogs
6 mata mata turtles
4 spiny tailed lizards
4 striped narrow-headed turtles
3 aldabra tortoises
2 boa constrictors
2 Sudan plated lizards
2 corn snakes
2 king snakes
1 ploughshare tortoise (world's rarest turtle)
1 pig-nosed turtle
1 African gray parrot
1 milk snake
1 hog nosed snake
The man admitted to authorities that he had purchased the animals from Chatuchak Market. Thailand is a party to international agreements to combat traffic in wildlife and has shown increasing vigilance in this area. However, perhaps greater vigilance might be turned toward the Chatuchak scene in Bangkok, given the large number of species that this potential smuggler carried in three suitcases.
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