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ASEAN ANALYSIS

Asean Affairs  11  February 2011

Wildlife trafficking continues in Thailand

By  David Swartzentruber

 
AseanAffairs     11 February 2011

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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.

By
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs  
04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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