A seemingly harmless photo that Rihanna posted over the weekend with a primate in Thailand has had serious consequences for two individuals.
Now on her Diamonds world tour, the 25-year-old singer spent some of her free time in between shows in Manila and Singapore, on the Thai island of Phuket, where she encountered a slow loris, an endangered primate species.
Rihanna posted a photo of her cuddling the animal (seen above), captioning
it, "Look who was talkin dirty to me! #Thailand #nightlife."
While the Unapologetic singer relished the encounter, it wasn't by happenstance, as the slow loris was reportedly presented to her by two people who were purportedly peddling the protected species for photo opportunities.
"Phuket authorities were alerted to the picture (of Rihanna), and last night police arrested the two individuals who brought out the loris as a photo opportunity for tourists," Weera Kerdsirimongkon, a Phuket district chief, told The Associated Press
According to the AP, Thai police confiscated the two lorises from the duo, a 20-year-old man and 16-year-old boy, who may face charges of possession of animals of a protected species. If convicted, they could serve up to a four-year prison sentence and pay a 40,000-baht ($1282) fine.
The district chief, Kerdsirimongkon, told the AP that the exploitation of wildlife is something they've been trying to stop for years.
"It's like a cat-and-mouse game," he said. "But this time it's bigger because a celebrity like Rihanna posted the picture, and there were more than 200,000 'likes' from around the world."