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Two men were arrested in Thailad on suspicion of trading in protected species, The Guardian reports. Their downfall can be traced back to a misguided Instagram selfie posted by Rihanna.
In all likelihood, the 25-year-old pop star wasn’t trying to be a hero. She had just taken advantage of a popular, but illegal, tourist activity while vacationing on the resort island of Phuket: posing with the endangered slow loris:
But the photo, being a Rihanna selfie, was too popular for the Thai government to ignore. The protected species trade is “like a cat-and-mouse game,” said the Phuket district chief. “But this time it’s bigger because a celebrity like Rihanna posted the picture, and there were more than 200,000 ‘likes’ from around the world.”
Officials set up a sting Sunday night, arresting a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old and confiscating two slow lorises that were in their possession. The men face up to four years in jail and 40,000 baht (about $1,300) if convicted.
After helping to save the slow loris, Rihanna moved on to elephants:
From there, she tweeted updates from a sex show — also illegal. But authorities say that so far, she’s yet to shut down the island’s red-light district.
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email email@example.com.More Lindsay Abrams.