Youtuber Faces Five Years In Jail For Videoing Herself Eating A Bat

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A YouTuber from Thailand is reportedly facing five years in jail after filming herself eating a bat in a bowl of soup.

A stomach-turning 1-minute 40-second video showed Phonchanok Srisunaklua - who runs a Youtube channel called Gin Zap Bep Nua Nua (Eat spicy and delicious) - devouring the bizarre meal.

Floating in the murky brown soup, alongside cherry tomatoes, were several small bats, which Srisunaklua allegedly bought from a market near the Laos border in northern Thailand, according to the Telegraph.

Describing the bats as being "delicious" and comparing them to "eating raw meat," the food content creator is then seen ripping the flying mammals apart and dipping them in a spicy sauce called Nim Jam.
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The now-deleted video was quickly flooded with complaints by outraged Thai viewers who were alarmed at the health implications.

According to TMZ, police officers have reportedly arrested Srisunaklua for possession of protected wildlife carcasses, and for violating the Computer-Related Crimes Act of 2007 by uploading the footage.

Although she has apologized for the culinary stunt and said she will not eat the mammals again, she faces up to five years behind bars if she is convicted, or a 500,000 baht ($13,910) fine, per The Telegraph.

Many experts are concerned about the health hazards associated with these wet markets Srisunaklua bought the bats from, and are urging that measures are placed to stop them.

Veterinarian Pattaraphon Manee-on, head of the wildlife health management group at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, commented on the incident and said: "I was shocked to see it in the clip now," per Daily Mail.
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"Because the incident should not happen both in Thailand and around the world, it is very risky behavior, especially as bats have a lot of pathogens. There is no proof that the hot water temperature will actually kill the germs," Manee-on continued.

"Just touching the saliva, blood, and the skin is considered a risk," he added. "Besides the concern about the disease in bats, this woman could be guilty of breaking the Preservation and Protection and Wildlife Act, B.E. 2019, because bats are protected animals."

Professor Eddie Holmes, a virologist at the Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases, also told The Telegraph that bats "carry a very large number of viruses" that cause dangerous outbreaks.

"Most of those won’t be able to replicate in human cells, but perhaps some can, and perhaps some of those could cause human disease," he continued.

"We know that viruses spill over from wildlife to humans all the time, and this is what drives epidemics and pandemics. We need to do as much as we can to physically distance ourselves from wildlife," Holmes added.

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