BANGKOK (AFP) – A South Korean actress faces up to five years in a Thai jail for catching endangered giant clams in a reality TV stunt, an official said yesterday, despite the show’s extensive apology.
Lee Yeol-eum was filmed diving for giant clams at a Thai marine park for a June 30 episode of Law of the Jungle – a popular South Korean reality show.
After prising two giant clams from the coral-laid seabed, Lee pumped them in the air yelling, “I caught it!”
The creatures are listed as an endangered species and protected under Thai law.
A picture of 23-year-old Lee picking up the mollusks started circulating online, bringing the star of Korean TV drama My First Love to the attention of authorities.
Narong Kongaid, the Head of Hat Chao Mai National Park – where the show was filmed in April – told AFP he filed two charges on Wednesday against the actress for violating the National Parks law and the Wildlife Protection law.
“She may get five years imprisonment if convicted,” Narong told AFP.