A popular YouTube influencer in Thailand has been called out by netizens for publishing a video clip of himself catching hermit crabs and taking them home to keep.
The Natural Resources and Environment Minister of Thailand has also stepped into the controversy saying his department would open an investigation into the YouTube influencer’s actions.
Several netizens called on Minister Varawut Silpa-Archa to urge Korn Khunatipapisiri to return the crabs to their natural habitat, prompting Mr. Korn to apologize and promise to return the sea animals.
On his Facebook page, Mr. Varawut urged sponsors and fans to boycott Mr. Korn due to what he described as an action that could influence young people. According to him, the YouTuber with about 4.48 million subscribers should have shown more conscientious behavior, because he’s setting a bad example.
Youtube influencer outed by Facebook followers
Many of his followers are young, so imagine if every one of them collected a hermit crab from a trip to the sea and brought it home. Hundreds of thousands of hermit crabs could be lost or taken from their natural habitat,” he said.
Many followers of Monsoon Garbage Thailand have also posted their comments regarding Mr. Korn’s YouTube video and have asked him to return the hermit crabs to nature.
Although hermit crabs are not listed as protected species under the 2019 Act on wildlife conservation and protection, Mr. Korn faces legal repercussions if found to have taken the crabs from a national park, said Mr. Varawut.
The location from where Mr. Korn obtained the hermit crabs would now be investigated, he said.
Mr. Varawut said efforts were initiated many years ago to protect hermit crabs under the wildlife protection act.
A committee on hermit crab conservation was formed on Jan. 7, 1999, which is tasked with drafting a plan to conserve hermit crabs and their natural habitats, he said.