A Thai blogger has been arrested for uploading a video where she eats a whole bat in a bowl of soup.
Phonchanok Srisunaklua is facing five years in jail after she posted the one-minute 40-second clip of her eating a bat where she described it as “delicious.”
In the mukbang-style video, a broadcast in which the host eats food on camera, Srisunaklua compares them to “eating raw meat” and rips the animals apart and dips them in a spicy sauce called Nim Jam.
During the stomach-churning video, she holds up a whole bat to the camera before declaring “it has teeth” and then crunches on the bones while saying “the bones are soft”.
Immediately after the post went live on Srisunaklua’s Gin Zap Bep Nua Nua (Eat spicy and delicious) YouTube channel the video was inundated with viewers who were outraged by her.
“If you’re going to die, die alone. No one will blame you. But you’ll be damned if you start a pandemic,” writes one commenter.
“You put yourself at risk. If you get sick don’t bother burdening doctors and nurses,” says another.
Thai veterinarian Pattaraphon Manee-on, head of the wildlife health management group at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, condemned Srisunaklua’s actions.
“I was shocked to see it in the clip 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,” he says.
“There is no proof that the hot water temperature will actually kill the germs. Just touching the saliva, blood, and the skin is considered a risk.”
Bats are known to carry a myriad of diseases, with some experts believing that the flying mammals could carry over 10,000 viruses that can potentially be transmitted to humans, increasing the risk of a pandemic.
According to TMZ, Srisunaklua has been arrested for possession of a protected wildlife carcass and for violating the Computer-Related Crimes Act of 2007.
Srisunalklua, who is a teacher as well as a YouTuber, initially denied the charges but has since posted another video apologizing for her actions. In her apology video, she stated that she would refrain from eating bats again.