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Murder-suicide at Songkhla Zoo linked to missing rare animal investigation

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Isran News

Investigators say the apparent murder-suicide at the Songkhla Zoo is related to the case of the missing rare deer and claims of illegal wildlife trade.

Back in October, the zoo’s senior veterinarian shot and killed a top official from the Zoological Park Organisation of Thailand before killing himself at his living quarters at the Southern Thailand zoo. The organisation’s director-general, Suriya Saengpong, had travelled down to Songkhla from Bangkok to investigate the zoo after 2 rare albino barking deer went missing.

The Songkhla Zoo filed a report with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment claiming that a deer had been eaten by a python. In previous reports, the Songkhla Zoo director Charlermwut Kasetsomboon said he had photographic evidence and had it confirmed by a vet.

But some have been concerned that the zoo director’s claims could be a coverup and that the deer may have been stolen and sold in the illegal wildlife trade. After the shooting, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to investigate the case and “leave no stone unturned.”

The Songkhla Zoo has been investigated before for illegal wildlife trade. According to the Bangkok Post, a staff member was sentenced to jail for being involved in smuggling rare birds from the zoo.

The Zoological Park Organisation, which oversees a number of zoos across Thailand, is now updating its database of wildlife animal populations at the public zoos.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar


    Monday, December 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    no hope for Wildlife in Thailand

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, December 28, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    They should investigate other possible frauds at this Zoo.
    Cheats tend to cheat at everything. Parking illegally, shoplifting, taking back their library books late.
    For instance. Have the animals been given their full rations, or are the zoo employees running market stalls selling fruit, vegetables and meat?
    Are the zoo employees sheering the sheep and selling the wool? milking the cows, selling peacock feathers?

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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