Thai woman eats bat soup on livestream, gets arrested for violating wildlife laws
A woman in Thailand sparked public outrage when she live-streamed herself eating “bat soup”.
According to the Telegraph, Phonchanok Srisunaklua, a teacher, filmed herself eating the flying mammal on her YouTube channel.
Local police authorities have since arrested her for violating wildlife protection laws and the Computer Crimes Act.
In a video posted on Facebook, she is seen dining on a soup-based dish containing several bats.
She rips apart a piece of bat, dips the meat in dipping sauce, and chomps down on it.
Calling the meat delicious and comparing it to rat meat, she encourages her followers to try it. She adds that she initially only ate the meat of the species, but later moved on to its bones as well, saying they were “so soft.”
Her actions sparked outrage from netizens, most of whom slammed her for endangering her health.
“You put yourself at risk. If you get sick, don’t bother burdening doctors and nurses,” one comment said.
A professor from Chulalongkorn University, Teerawat Hemajuta, also criticised her actions, saying that bats contain severe pathogens which, if ingested, may make one ill and start another pandemic.
Phonchanok also faces charges for offences violating the Computer Crimes Act. If found guilty, she faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to S$19,000 (500,000 baht), or both.
Police said she has since posted a video apologising for her act, stating that she did not have any ill intentions, and has also promised not to eat bats in the future.