Thai police to charge two over pet lion spotted cruising in Bentley
Thai police have apprehended a woman, Sawangjit Kosoongnern, after her pet lion was spotted joyriding in the streets of Pattaya.
In a viral video, the lion cub was seen in the back of a white, open-top Bentley, driven by a Sri Lankan man who has since left the country. Although owning a lion in Thailand is not illegal, it must be officially registered.
Authorities revealed that Sawangjit purchased the lion from a Thai man without proper official checks, rendering the transfer and ownership illegal.
She now faces charges for possessing a controlled wild animal without permission, carrying a potential penalty of a year’s imprisonment and a fine of up to 100,000 baht ($2,800; £2,200).
The Sri Lankan man, who is no longer in Thailand, was to be charged with bringing a controlled wild animal into public places, while the person who sold the lion will also face charges for moving the animal without permission.
Officials say there are currently 224 lions in Thailand that are legally owned.