A woman in Thailand has been arrested after her pet lion was spotted taking a joyride through the streets of Pattaya.
A video that has gained widespread attention shows a lion cub sitting in the back of a white, open-top Bentley, restrained by chains.
The lion was being transported by a Sri Lankan man who has since departed the country, and is thought to be an acquaintance of the woman, Sawangjit Kosoongnern.
In Thailand, owning a lion is not illegal, but it must be officially registered.
Officials in Thailand have reported that Sawangjit stated she purchased the animal from a local individual in Nakhon Pathom province, who was able to arrange its transportation to Pattaya.
Unfortunately, he neglected to have his facility inspected by officials beforehand, resulting in the transfer and ownership of the animal becoming illegal.
Consequently, she is now facing charges for possessing a controlled wild animal without permission. This offence could result in a year’s imprisonment and a fine of up to 100,000 baht ($2,800; £2,200).
Authorities were also said to be considering charges against the Sri Lankan individual, who had housed the lion in a rented pool villa. However, they were unable to proceed with legal action as the individual has left Thailand. The individual was set to face charges for unlawfully bringing a wild animal into public areas, a violation that could result in a prison sentence of up to six months and a fine of 50,000 baht.
The individual responsible for selling the lion to Sawangjit will also be held accountable for unlawfully transporting an animal.
According to officials, there are currently 224 lions in Thailand that are legally owned.