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Chinese woman arrested for keeping lion cub in Phuket

PHOTO: Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation

It doesn’t only happen in Pattaya. Police and national park officials in Phuket have seized a lion cub and arrested its owner, who has been charged with possessing a wild animal without a permit. The Chinese woman was arrested after photos and videos of the animal appeared on social media earlier this week.

Nation Thailand reports that on Monday, February 12, a foreign tourist shared video footage of the lion cub inside a Phuket café. The tourist asked if owning such an animal was legal, implying it was cruel to keep wild animals as ‘pets’. The café and its location in the sub-district of Rassada were also mentioned in the clip.

The following day, officers from Phuket Town Police Station arrived at the café. They were accompanied by officials from a local wildlife sanctuary.

It’s understood the lion cub was not there when they arrived, but the manager admitted that it had been on display in the café last week. Officers then spoke to the owner of the café, a Chinese woman named as 31 year old Chern Min.

She told authorities that she had purchased the lion cub in Bangkok for 250,000 baht, before leading officers to a hotel room behind the café, where the cub was being kept. As the woman was unable to provide officials with a permit to show she had legal possession of the animal, the cub was seized and taken to the wildlife sanctuary.

The woman has been arrested and charged with violation of the wildlife protection law by owning a wild animal without permission.

Whilst there are registered cat cafes in Phuket Town, there is no such thing as a BIG cat cafe.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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