Slow Loris: Rihanna Photo Leads Thai Police to Arrest Animal Keepers

Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 09:26 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Singer Rihanna unknowingly helped Thailand authorities capture two exotic animal keepers last week after she posted an incriminating Instagram photo of herself with a slow loris, an endangered primate native to Southeast Asia.

Rihanna stopped in Phuket, Thailand Friday on her Diamonds world tour and took a moment to snap a selfie with the squirrel-like critter.

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The Instagram photo quickly went viral and tipped off local officials who have struggled for years to keep local vendors from charging tourists to take pictures with protected animals. Authorities also worried that the R&B singer's photo would perpetuate the practice of capturing the endangered species.

"It's like a cat-and-mouse game. 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," Weera Kerdsirimongkon, a Phuket district chief, told The Associated Press.

Police were able to somehow identify the peddlers — a 20-year-old and a 16-year-old — and arrested the men Saturday night. The two slow lorises in their possession were taken to a national park in Phang Nga, according to The Phuket News. 

This isn’t the first time Rihanna's online activities have caused a stir. The Barbadian singer also posted some racy tweets about an illegal X-rated club in Phuket last week, sparking a law enforcement investigation, according to the Bangkok Post. 

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