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Thai woman faces 5 years in prison after eating bat soup

Woman faces 5 years in prison for eating bat

A Thai woman is facing up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to 500,000 baht (approximately $13,800) for possessing bats or protected wildlife carcasses and for crimes violating the Computer Crimes Act (2007) in Thailand. The incident occurred after Phonchanok Srisunaklua, a teacher, posted a video on her Facebook page Kin Saeb Nua Nua (Eating it Delicious and Hot), which has 392,000 followers.

Thai vlogger faces up to 5 years in prison for eating protected wildlife carcasses

Thai vlogger faces up to 5 years in prison for eating protected wildlife carcasses

In the video, Srisunaklua is shown spreading the lesser Asiatic yellow bats’ wings before she tore them apart to eat them. According to Yahoo! News, she bought the bats at a market in northern Thailand, where bats that are infected with the closest relative to SARS-CoV-2 can also be found.

The bat was boiled in a bowl of spicy soup, and Srisunaklua said it was “delicious.” In the video, she said it was her first time consuming a bat and added that its nails smelled like a rat and its skin was sticky. She also told viewers that she was not trying to spread any coronavirus, as residents in her area also ate bats.

A couple of days after sharing the video, Srisunaklua commented on the video that she was “still alive.”

After the video went viral, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) warned people not to eat bats due to health concerns. Dr. Chakkarat Pittayawong-anont, the director of the Epidemiology Division at the DDC, said humans could easily contract diseases from bats.

Veterinarian Pattaraphon Manee-on of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said, “I was shocked to see it in the clip now. Because the incident should not happen both in Thailand and around the world, it is very risky behavior, especially as bats have a lot of pathogens. There is no proof that the hot water temperature will actually kill the germs. Just touching the saliva, blood, and the skin is considered a risk.”

According to Kaset Sutecha, a lecturer at Kasetsart Universikhruty’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, there are more than 60 types of viruses that have been detected in bats that can spread to humans. He also noted that the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, spread to humans from bats.

Srisunaklua later posted a video apologizing to “society, doctors, journalists, colleagues, family and friends” while saying she was “not thinking” and promised to never eat bats again.

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