Rihanna selfie with endangered slow loris leads to two arrests in Thailand
Two men have been arrested for allegedly peddling the protected animal
Two men have been arrested in Thailand for allegedly peddling protected animals after police were alerted to a picture on Rihanna's Instagram account.
The singer was taking a break from her Diamonds world tour when she stopped off in Phuket and photographed herself with some local wildlife.
The picture shows the singer in her sunglasses with a primate called the slow loris, a squirrel-like animal with big eyes which is a protected species in South East Asia.
Weera Kerdsirimongkon, a Phuket district chief police officer, said: "Phuket authorities were alerted to the picture [of Rihanna], and last night police arrested the two individuals who brought out the loris as a photo opportunity for tourists."
Police confiscated two lorises from a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, who could face charges of possession of protected animals.
The charge carries a penalty of up to four years in prison and a 40,000 baht ($1,300) fine.
Kerdsirimongkon said authorities have been trying to crack down on the number of vendors exploiting wildlife for years.
He said: "It's like a cat-and-mouse game. But this time it's bigger because a celebrity like Rihanna posted the picture, and there were more than 200,000 'likes' from around the world."
The Bajan singer continues her Diamonds world tour in Australia, where she is due to play seven dates.
With additional reporting from AP
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'We're starting to see his demise'
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
V&A removes depiction of Prophet Mohamed from website amid 'severe security alert'
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd