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Left with the loris: How a tout extracts money from a surprised tourist

Animal Abuse Continues in Patong

Thursday, January 2, 2014
PHUKET: A quick survey by a Phuketwan reporter at 6pm tonight showed there were six iguana touts and a slow loris tout operating on Patong's Soi Bangla walking street as tourists began taking over from the cars. One tourist was surprised to be left holding the slow loris, all part of the plan to take some cash from her for being photographed with a protected animal. Reports that the problem has been fixed appear to be premature.

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promptly turn it in to the police.

Posted by Surang on January 2, 2014 22:51

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..despite reports to the contrary..
"Rihanna had more success in generating a positive response when she posed with an endangered slow loris. In a more appropriate reaction, loris touts have disappeared from Patong's streets in recent weeks. "

Posted by another steve on January 3, 2014 07:17

Editor Comment:

You seem to have problems, another steve, in understanding that the animals on Soi Bangla come and go, depending on the movement of the touts. Your wish for certainty and consistency in Patong is likely to remain unfulfilled, along with our wish for more intelligent comments.

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Now, this really is an assumption, but going by past experience, I am guessing we will soon see ANOTHER walk down soi bangle by the Governor and the police commander, with photos of the Gov with tourists and of course reporting that there are no animals or illegal shows in soi bangla, the same as I commented about the lower crime rate, we hear the same story time after time after boring time but nothing changes, a few token arrests for the media and to "keep" us happy. How condescending of these people, to think we are so stupid as to believe them. (moderated)

Posted by Laurie Howells on January 3, 2014 08:43

Editor Comment:

You have an opportunity to express an opinion, Laurie, but it's your opinion, the opinion of one individual. Once you start using ''we'' and ''our'' or ''us'' you are kidding yourself. Only yourself, not the rest of us. Your opinion is, as so often in the past, built around anger and frustration, and of absolutely no value.

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I dont believe they ever truly stopped, I think the police feel they have bigger fines to be pocketed from idiot farangs on scooters than fleecing their own people!

Very very sad!

Open comment to the Aussies - imagine if this was a Koala being touted up & down the cross for tourists to have pictures taken with them, would you still find it so amusing?

Posted by paul on January 3, 2014 09:11

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"Animal Abuse Continues in Patong's Tourist Street"
And always will.

Posted by Nicke. on January 3, 2014 09:26

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Sorry Ed, but I was under the impression that "we" and "us" could be used by a writer or editor, to refer to himself or herself.

Posted by Laurie Howells on January 3, 2014 09:47

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This is a complex argument, however for the high quality tourists I think animal abuse gives Thailand a very bad impression.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on January 3, 2014 11:17

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@FF - nothing complex about it mate! Some people, Thai nationals it would seem, are taking protected species from their natural habitat to exploit their cuddly cute looks for profit. Indeed many are butchered, surely a form of abuse, by having teeth & claws removed. No doubt without proper medical proceedure!

It gives a bad impression because it is bad!

Posted by paul on January 3, 2014 11:39

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And: All of the touts have been arrested and presented to the media, for animal abuse, before. Some changed only in (own) size and from Loris to Iguana and vice versa.
I mean, the tale from 'always new faces' is proved, to be a tale. At least with this pictures, someone need a new excuse!

Posted by Anonymous on January 3, 2014 12:44

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Last night I was actually talking to a person that is posing these animals, plus snakes as well, and he told me that he always is warned by somebody, when a patrol is coming. He told me that the police could never stop him doing from what he is doing, because he would never allow policemen taking money and food from his family.

Posted by Charles on January 3, 2014 13:18

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'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'

So wrote Ghandi. This can also apply to how its weakest and most vunerable members are treated - as well as how its reporters are treated.

Posted by Treelover on January 3, 2014 13:38

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This morning at 10 AM right outside of McDonalds on the main Beach Road was a well dressed "tout" with a loris - 2 Australian women paid to have their photo taken with it whilst several other tourists looked on.
We must find a way to educate the tourists as this practice will continue until the money dries up ... Or there are no more loris left in the wild !

Posted by Julian on January 3, 2014 18:27

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It was sad to see the hapless slow loris who belongs to a reclusive nocturnal primate species, being touted round Soi Bangla by a photo-tout. Lorises can and do bite (and there is a toxin in their saliva) and many reach rescue centers without their teeth, unable to eat anything but mush, and thus not in a position to be released to the wild. I hope the animals will be confiscated and the touts sent to prison. Same goes for the iguanas. Thanks to Phuketwan for keeping an eye on this situation!

Posted by Shirley McGreal on January 3, 2014 22:42

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There is a world of difference between an Iguana which is bred in farms, a common pet around the world, not endangered, and is incapable if psychological suffering unlike a Slow Loris which is a primate, same as us, is endangered, have their mothers killed in order to capture the babies, then have their teeth and poison glands torn out with no anesthesia, is over 90% genetically identical to humans, and is capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions. What we need to be doing is issuing Iguana's to all the Slow Loris touts. Job done.

Posted by NomadJoe on January 3, 2014 23:38

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why dont they have cc tv on soi bangla all evidence is then sorted

Posted by Michael on January 4, 2014 12:00

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Nomad Joe, as you explained, they could get iguanas easier, as Lorises. If they wanted. And if they thought, the tourist would go/pay for a iguana picture and after that, another iguana picture! But nevertheless, neither iguanas, or little Dumbos, have anything to do in entertainment venues. Besides, that iguana owners need to have legal papers, for the iguana, too.
Is there any snake around, these days? Haven't seen one with a tout, for a while.

Posted by Anonymous on January 4, 2014 12:03

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I saw the well dressed man on the beach road with the loris. He has been there a while, but will hide the loris if he suspects someone is on to him.

He has been operating for at least a month. He is usually with the tuk tuks near the Palm Beach resort and Burger King. He charges 200 baht for a photo with the loris. Poor loris..........I didn't know they were a protected species. Of course I declined.

When I saw the man try to hide the animal, I knew he was up to something.

Posted by norma on January 7, 2014 19:12

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many tourists dont know they are a protected animal,maybe large signs at the airport,bus terminals anywhere where tourists enter the island and state these facts and not to have a picture taken with them,maybe then it will stop people paying for a photo ,but i dont think it can be stopped,to many people make money of the poor little things

Posted by brett on January 8, 2014 00:39

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Michael, they already have CCTV cameras in soi bangla, but as usual, they seem to either be not working or pointed in the wrong direction, this goes for many CCTV cameras in the "safety" zone. They only seem to function correctly when the police want them to.

Brett, I know many people advocate signs, but in reality who actually reads them, ask yourself this question, how many signs do you read when arriving at the airport, for me it's usually, where are the toilets, where is the luggage collection and then how the hell do I get out of here. The responsibility for animal, human and otherwise, is clearly that of the police. Like most criminal/anti social problems, if the police did their duty then most problems would be reduced.

Posted by Laurie Howels on January 8, 2014 08:48


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