Lengthy forensic process continues on panther ‘s death

Wildlife forensic scientists are still examining the blood stains on leaves and knives seized from the jungle campsite where Italian Thai Development president and chief executive Premchai Karnasuta was arrested along with three others for poaching wildlife animals in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary on February 5.

Pinsak Suraswadi, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, admitted of the lengthy forensic process because it needed cautious steps to prosecute all those involved in the poaching.

He believed the police themselves also did the same in collecting forensic evidence substantial to lay charges on poachers.

He said what wildlife forensic scientists wanted to make sure was that the wildlife meat seized at the campsite belonged to the killed panther.

He said initial examination has been known. But as wildlife forensic scientists received latest evidence of blood stains on leaves and on knives seized from the campsite, they needed to conduct DNA test if they were blood from the slaughtered panther.

The DNA analysis would take a week and afterwards the department would forward the forensic result to the police as additional evidence to lay charges on those responsible, he said.

Meanwhile a wildlife forensic scientist Dr Kanita Uithavorn, chief of the department's wildlife forensic unit, said they needed to find the DNA of the blood stains on the leaves and knives as they would be significant evidence to prove that the panther was killed by Premchai's poaching team in the jungle.

She said earlier evidence collected by the police such as bullets, rifles, finger prints showed the panther was killed and slaughtered in the jungle.

She said scientist would also test the human feces collected from the scene to prove if Mr Premchai had eaten the panther's meat or not.

Although this process would be difficult but scientists would try to prove it to seek justice for the killed panther, she added.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)