Endangered black panther spotted at national park in central Thailand

photo via Faikham BW Facebook

A Thai tourist wrote about her encounter with an endangered black panther at a national park in Phetchaburi province in central Thailand on social media yesterday. The woman videoed the black panther rolling around on its back like a domestic house cat in the rare sighting.

The woman was driving through Kaeng Krachan National Park when she spotted a black animal in the road…

“We saw a black shadow drinking water in the middle of the road so we slowed down the car to get a proper look… and discovered it was a black panther… I got goosebumps… I was so shocked.”

Park rangers told her she was very lucky indeed because sightings of the elusive black panther are extremely rare. It is estimated that there are only 200 black panthers – or Indochinese leopards – left in the wild in Thailand.

In 2018, billionaire business tycoon Premchai Karnasuta was found with hunting gear and animal carcasses, including a dead black panther, in Thailand’s Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province.

Premchai got away with the crime for four years, so political artists called for justice for the slain black panther through murals. Graffiti artist Headache Stencil spray painted a mural of a black panther with a ‘mute’ symbol next to it on a wall on Sukhumvit Soi 41 in Bangkok, which was mysteriously covered up with white paint within 24 hours of it being posted on social media. The mural suggested the black panther’s calls for justice had been silenced by Thailand’s justice system, because Premchai got away with the crime for so long.

Thai graffiti artist Mue Bon also painted a mural of the black panther on a wall in Melbourne, Australia, to bring the case into the international public eye.

Public outrage at Premchai’s crime – the former president of Italian-Thai Development Plc – finally amounted to a prison sentence in December 2021 when the court sentenced Premchai to three years and two months in prison for illegally hunting wildlife.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.