Rihanna Takes Picture with Protected Primate in Thailand, Authorities Arrest Animal Keepers
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 09.22.2013
Rihanna hangs out with a protected species...
Billboard reports that pictures of Rihanna with a protected primate on her Instagram account led to the arrest of two people for allegedly peddling protected animals.
During a break from her Diamonds World Tour, Rihanna went to Thailand and visited the island of Phuket. She then posted a picture showing her snuggling with a primate called the slow Ioris and wrote, "Look who was talkin dirty to me!" The animal is native to Southeast Asia and is listed as a protected species. According to a Phuket district chief, Weera Kerdisrimongkon, "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 later confiscated two Iorises from the pair, a 20-year-old mand and a 16-year-old boy. They face charges of possession of protected animals. They carry a penalty of up to four years in prison and a fine of $40,000 baht ($1,300). Authorities have reportedly been trying for years to crack down on vendors exploiting wildlife, especially in tourist areas where people pay to pose for pictures with elephants, orangutans, and other animals. Weera added, "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."
After leaving Thailand, Rihanna now heads to Singapore followed by Australia and New Zealand for the next leg of her tour. You can check out the image of Rihanna with the slow Ioris below.