Officials to conduct DNA test on Asian bearcat paws seized from suspects

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Bangkok – Officials will conduct a DNA test on the Asian bearcat paws seized in a recent arrest at Sai Yok National Park. The test is expected to take up to three weeks.

Director-General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) Thanya Netithammakun said his department will hand over evidence from the arrest to its forensic unit. It includes four Asian bearcat paws, a knife, and a cutting board, among other items.

On Saturday, officials arrested a convoy traveling through Sai Yok National Park. They were found with firearms and the Asian bearcat paws, a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Head of the DNP Wildlife Forensic Science Unit Kanita Ouitavon said it would take 2-3 weeks to cross check the DNA with its wildlife database to verify whether the paws were from animals poached in the area. The forensics team has conducted DNA tests in other illegal poaching cases in the past, involving panthers, elephants, and African elephant ivory.