Author Topic: Otter Smuggling on Aircraft Possibly Linked to Wildlife Trafficking  (Read 115 times)


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Regarding reports that otter cubs were found along with Burmese star tortoises, a snake, a prairie dog and two black giant squirrels on a flight operated by Thai VietJet, the department said otters are protected wildlife under the Wildlife Conservation Act and it is illegal to possess or trade them. The penalty for unlawful possession can result in imprisonment for up to 5 years, a fine of up to 500,000 baht, or both. In the case of trafficking, the penalty can be imprisonment for up to 10 years, a fine of up to 1 million baht, or both.

Otters are protected wildlife and are listed under Appendix I of the CITES Convention, which prohibits their import and export. This incident raises the possibility of it being linked to illegal wildlife smuggling.

They have a natural curiosity, are agile, and remain alert at all times. They have a rapid learning ability, which sometimes leads to a misconception that they are cute and suitable as pets, contributing to the illegal smuggling of otters through various channels, both domestically and internationally.