A Thai man was arrested after poaching a critically endangered pangolin and allegedly making his dogs attack it while recording them on TikTok.
Supachai Nichagornpong, 37, posted the graphic clip in his social media account showing his two dogs mauling the helpless animal in Songkhla province, southern Thailand, last Wednesday (Feb 3).
The footage was reported to animal rights group Watchdog Thailand, who contacted police and identified the filmer as Supachai.
An arrest warrant was served to the man on February 4 and he allegedly confessed to catching two wild pangolins before taking them home.
However, he denied that he forced his dogs to attack the pangolins so he could be famous on TikTok.
He said: ‘I found two pangolins in a rubber plantation and took them into my house.
‘The dogs attacked them so I recorded it on my camera and later posted the video on TikTok and Facebook.’
Supachai claimed that one of the pangolins was bitten by the dogs then set free while the other one was sold for 3,000 Baht (100 USD).
Officers took the man to the police station to be questioned on suspicion of poaching and trafficking wild animals.
Lieutenant Colonel Thammarat Petchnongchum said: ‘The video evidence was received by colleagues and we started investigating immediately before catching the man. Pangolins are a protected species. He should not have had them at all.’
The police are also looking into his history of violence as he had been jailed for assaulting a person with a knife in 2013 and was released in 2019.
All eight species of pangolins are protected under national and international laws, and two are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species