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A slow loris in Patong last night as a prelude to being freed in the wild

Phuket Raiders Arrest Five Bangla Touts

Thursday, October 4, 2012
PHUKET: Officers from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation swooped on Phuket's famous Soi Bangla walking street tonight.

They arrested five people who were allegedly in possession of five slow lorises, a protected native species.

Negotiations were taking place tonight at Kathu Police Station, with the five alleged handlers seeking bail.

But the parks department officers said that whether or not the five accused obtained bail was a different issue to the future of the lorises.

''The animals will be taken to a protected area in Phuket's east and returned to the wild,'' the officer said.

Tourists have complained regularly about the presence of the animals in Patong's Soi Bangla walking street, where touts offer them to tourists to have their photographs taken with the cuddly animals.

While some tourists are attracted to the idea, others understand the need for the animals to be left in the wild and walk past without stopping.

The need for animals to be protected in Thailand is becoming more widely understood.

Comments

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Well done at last this is being stopped.

Posted by Anonymous on October 4, 2012 22:39

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I did not realize that these little creatures were native to Phuket. Is there really enough unspoiled habitat left for them? Perhaps it would be better if they were removed further away from the island to a more remote region.

Posted by Logic on October 4, 2012 22:47

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Is there any number you can call/text to if you see one of the touts in Karon walking with their snakes or "alligators" at night? Sending a SMS with the address of the current appearance should be enough to trigger an alarm...

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on October 4, 2012 23:49

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yay

Posted by Tbs on October 5, 2012 03:06

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yes there is a number call 1362
good job

Posted by p on October 5, 2012 07:15

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About time too and what about the lizards well?

Posted by mick on October 5, 2012 09:45

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That's great, at last, let's hope the police do it regularly

Posted by Anonymous on October 5, 2012 11:56

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Good work by the Thai government. A quick review on the internet will see that these animals do not make good pets. More and more tourists are educated to the fact that taking them from the wild is very cruel and are repulsed by having a picture with them as to whom are they going to show the picture to, the viewer would also be repulsed. Makes Thailand look cruel. Outdated and hopefully coming to an end.

Posted by Happy Farang on October 5, 2012 12:48

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Agree with''Happy Farang''

well said..

Posted by stanley on October 5, 2012 13:19

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about time enough is enough,set the animals free and lockup these parasites that tout for money, these animals need their own environment not to be manhanfled

Posted by Alex on October 5, 2012 13:57

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Some of these people, who work away from Bangla, often have a couple of mates moving ahead of them. They seem to work by phone, to let them know if the coast is clear, before they pass through. Getting a photo taken is one way of providing clear evidence.

Posted by Ga on October 5, 2012 13:58

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Stopped- unfortunately not but yet another sign of a change in the proactivness of local officials. Very good to see. Only problem is smalll fines mean nothing to the touts and they are back as soon as they re-stock - maybe a bit of time in the Monkey House could teach them a lesson.

Posted by Mister Ree on October 5, 2012 14:09

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@HappyFarang: as you can see from the arrival no. more and more animal indifferent tourists come to Phuket. First make a cute photo, then eat 'em. Just see how Chinese workers aka wilderer kill everything to eat or get horny in Africa.
But who is without sin here. Cruelty to animals... e.g. if fish could cry, but no they have to suffer and agonize and die in silent. Next time you see a trawler fishing, just imagine the sounds of the animals. Then you know.

Posted by Lena on October 5, 2012 14:55

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I see a lot comments of praise here. Comments which suggest the removal of the street animals is something new. It is not. It's all been promised before. No more animals, iguanas, snakes, etc. to be on Soi Bangla. I will be pleasantly surprised if it happens this time.

Posted by Sudo Nim on October 5, 2012 15:26

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Ministry of Environment Wildlife Trade Hotline: 1362

Posted by Buster on October 5, 2012 15:27

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Did I not read that these little fellas had their teeth pulled out, so they did not bite the tourists or their handlers? If so, how the hang are the going to eat in the wild? Yet again no thought into their release?

Posted by Robin on October 5, 2012 15:51

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Great work by the government. I was disgusted by these touts during my last visit and sent a picture to the National Parks people of one such tout.

Posted by Arthur on October 5, 2012 16:53

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At least this might put a new spin on the meaning of the words 'happy ending' in Patong.
I hope it's not just a flash in the pan to please the complaints or get a few Baht in fines, but a genuine effort to end the practice for good. It's horrible.
Watch this space next year.

Posted by innocent bystander on October 5, 2012 17:18

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Lena..with your comment, I hope you are vegetarian, man has eaten animals since he was created, we will not stop, simply to make people like you happy.

Posted by dbate_me on October 5, 2012 18:40

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They should send a police squadron to Koh Panyee. Went there 3 weeks ago and there were 4 people walking around with apes trying to sell pictures to tourists. Hideous! Spoke to the Poejai Baan but he just couldn't care.

Posted by Richard on October 5, 2012 20:56

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No, I like my steak, I know my place in the food chain. Though I try not to over consume. But sometimes, I am a little bit funny, how people can get agitated about five monkeys used in public and do not care about millions of other animals unnecessary cruel living and death. But of course, it is a nice start. What you do not see, is what does not happen.

Posted by Lena on October 5, 2012 20:57

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"Some of these people, who work away from Bangla, often have a couple of mates moving ahead of them. They seem to work by phone, to let them know if the coast is clear, before they pass through. Getting a photo taken is one way of providing clear evidence."

That is exactly what a friend of mine did 2 days before this raid. He sent it to several NGO's and authorities, hence this raid.

"Is there any number you can call/text to if you see one of the touts in Karon walking with their snakes or "alligators" at night? Sending a SMS with the address of the current appearance should be enough to trigger an alarm..."

Kuhn Awat Nitikul, chief of the Phuket Environmental Conservation Unit, has posted his personal number and has asked that anyone who see's a gibbon or loris being used for photo op's call him directly at 086-6897040.

Posted by NomadJoe on October 6, 2012 13:35

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Anyway this morning in Bangla still there was a old lady with a loris. I went to search for police: none everywhere around...

Posted by dave on October 6, 2012 23:34

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"Anyway this morning in Bangla still there was a old lady with a loris. I went to search for police: none everywhere around..."
Make a photo and call the indicated number. He is 24/7 available for this.

Posted by stevenl on October 7, 2012 07:00

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To Editor - As a belated follow up to this story - my wife and I spent some time in Bangla yesterday evening. Right in front of us, when we were sitting in the Blue Lotus bar, we saw a group of (Thai) men, working as a team, with no less than 4 Slow Loris and 1 Iguana. They were doing good business, despite the fact that there was a group of high ranking police officers parading up and down on a regular basis with their eyes wide shut. Also, more tourist police than usual - although we did see one of them take a quick photo of one of the men. Every time the police got near, the lookouts shouted, and the men ran into the Soi Croc bars. Then, when the police had sauntered past, it was back to business with the tourists. The police were made to look STUPID! Were these the same animals from last week, or new ones? We watched the farce for a while and I took a few surreptitious photos, but then had to leave because it was a bit upsetting seeing how they treated these creatures.

Posted by Ga on October 9, 2012 19:12

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In these days I'm working in Bangla in the day. At any time there are 2-3 guy with lorisis. I took some pics and I sent to the number read above.. Nothing happened. Today I took a long video where can see very well the faces of thais and the conversation about the prices of the photos just made with some customers. What can I do with this video??

Posted by richard on October 9, 2012 22:50

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the video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Khr7wq-a-w&feature=youtu.be

Posted by richard on October 10, 2012 21:42


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