Rihanna (accidentally) helped save a protected primate

The pop star's selfie while vacationing in Phuket prompted a police raid

By Lindsay Abrams
September 23, 2013 5:04PM (UTC)
main article image
A slow loris "talks dirty" to the pop star (badgirlriri/Instagram)

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

MORE FROM Lindsay AbramsFOLLOW readingirl

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Endangered Species Instagram Rihanna Thailand Wildlife