Laotian woman arrested for smuggling in three fishing cat kittens

Wildlife checkpoint officials in Nong Khai yesterday detained a Laotian woman after she smuggled in three fishing cat kittens for sale at a border market.

Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia.

Thai wildlife officials arrested Suntalee Pimmapee, a resident of Haad Donkoo in Borikamsay province while she was seen offering to sell the kittens to shoppers at a border market at Ban Pengcharn in Kumphavapee district.

She admitted that she bought the three kittens from a Laotian trader not knowing the animals are protected species.

Thai authorities said she was detained for having and for selling protected animals which if found guilty she will face maximum jail term of up to four years and a fine of 40,000 baht or facing both.

The three kittens will be sent to Chaiyaphum wildlife nursery station for care.

Fishing cats are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Trade in fishing cats is regulated on CITES Appendix II.