We recently became aware of a group of men using wild animals including iguanas and a baby gibbon as photo animals to make money in the nearby resort of Hua Hin.
Unfortunately the iguanas do not fall under the protection of Thai law as they are a non-native species. However the gibbons are officially protected and it is now illegal to buy and own one. There was an amnesty in November 2003 during which time people who owned exotic animals as “pets” could register them. However, as this gibbon appeared to be under one year old it is clear that the man could not have a license for it and it must have been illegally obtained.
We took photographs of this illegal activity and made an official complaint directly with Police Major General Swake Pinsinchai, the Commander of the Forestry Police. General Swake ordered an investigation and Forestry Police officials were sent to Hua Hin.
We have since learned that the man with the gibbon was arrested, and the gibbon was taken into the care of the authorities.