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  • Thai YouTuber Phonchanok Srisunaklua posted a video of herself eating a soup with bats
  • Srisunaklua was arrested, and faces up to five years in jail if convicted
  • Patarapol Maneeorn, a wildlife veterinarian in Thailand, expressed concern over the health risks involved

A YouTuber in Thailand is facing jail time after uploading a video of herself eating a bowl filled with broth, tomatoes and multiple dead bats.

The woman, Phonchanok Srisunaklua, uploaded the since-deleted video on her YouTube channel, Gin Zap Bep Nua Nua (which translates to eat spicy and delicious), on Monday, TMZ reported.

In the nearly two-minute clip, the Thai food content creator can be seen ripping the wild animals apart and dipping them in a spicy sauce before eating them, according to Voiceofnaija.

Srisunaklua, who spoke in her native language, described the bats as "delicious" and even compared them to "eating raw meat," the report said.

At one point, the footage showed the woman holding up one of the bats in front of the camera before crunching on the bones, claiming that the "bones are soft."

Thailand authorities arrested the blogger for possession of protected wildlife carcasses, and for violating the Computer-Related Crimes Act of 2007 by uploading the clip, according to TMZ.

If convicted, Srisunaklua could face up to five years in prison.

After the clip was taken down, the social media personality posted an apology video.

The video sparked outrage among social media users, who were shocked and disgusted by the post.

"If you're going to die, die alone. No one will blame you. But you'll be damned if you start a pandemic," one user wrote, referring to the claims that COVID-19 allegedly originated on bats.

Another commented, "It's a thing in OAU (Organization of African unity) to bat hunt. You'll hear scary loud periodic bangs sounds, and when you ask, they'll say it's gunshots and that they are bat-hunting inside the school compounds because we use to have lots of bats. I'll keep wondering, how on earth do people eat bats?"

Wildlife veterinarian Patarapol Maneeorn, head of the wildlife health management group at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation of Thailand, reacted to the stomach-churning video, expressing concern over the health risks involved in consuming bats.

"I was shocked to see it in the clip now. 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," the veterinarian said.

"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," the expert explained. "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."

According to professor Paul Racey, as cited by Bats.org, bats carry a number of zoonotic viruses, which don't appear to affect the animals but may cause an outbreak once a person is infected.

Examples of emerging zoonotic viruses are Ebola, Marburg, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Hendra, Nipah and lyssavirus.

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