A Thai woman was arrested on Monday after she posted a video of herself eating bat soup on her Facebook page.
Phonchanok Srisunaklua who introduces himself as Xru (teacher) Jui in his videoPossession of carcasses of protected wild animals in Thailand’s Sakhon Nakhon province and offenses in violation of the Computer Crimes Act (2007) are punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of 500,000 baht (about US$13,800).
Srisunaklua, who is also a teacher, posted the clip on his Facebook page “Kin Saeb Nua Nua” (“Eating it Delicious and Hot”), which has 392,000 followers.
In the video, Srisunaklua can be seen spreading small Asian yellow bats wings before tearing it apart to consume it. He reportedly bought the bats from a market near the Laos border in northern Thailand, where bats infected with SARS-CoV-2, its closest relative, can also be found.
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The woman called the bat boiled in a bowl of spicy soup “delicious”. The woman, who said that she ate a bat for the first time, said that her nails smelled of rats and that her skin was sticky. He told viewers that he wasn’t trying to spread any coronavirus because the residents in his area also ate bats.
However, many viewers found the video disturbing and criticized it for the risk of spreading new diseases.
“If you’re going to die, die alone. No one will blame you. But you’ll be damned if you start a pandemic,” one viewer said they wrote.
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Monday, Written by Srisunaklua he wasis still alive” he wrote and added that the video was shot two days ago.
After the clip went viral, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) warned the public not eat bat for health problems. Dr. Chakkarat Pittayawong-anont, head of DDC’s Epidemiology Department, said people can easily contract diseases from bats, adding that only faeces can cause respiratory infections.
“I was shocked when I saw it in the clip now. This is a very risky behavior as the incident should not happen both in Thailand and in the world, especially since bats have a lot of pathogens. There is no evidence that the heat of hot water will actually kill germs. Just touching saliva, blood and skin is considered a risk,” said Pattarafon Manee-on, a veterinarian at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.
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“In addition to the disease concern in bats, this woman may be guilty of breaching the Protection and Conservation of Wildlife Act BE 2019, as bats are protected animals,” he said.
Kaset Sutecha, a lecturer at the Veterinary Faculty of Kasetsart University, said on Tuesday that there are more than 60 types of viruses in bats that can be transmitted to humans. He also noted that the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, passed from bats to humans.
Although first Jui denied the charges made against him, he later released a new video to apologize to “the community, doctors, journalists, colleagues, family and friends,” adding that he “didn’t think so.”
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Srisunaklua vowed never to eat a bat again.
Featured Image via Facebook
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