Forestry official sacked for Facebook 'hunter' posts

An official of the Royal Forest Department has been sacked after posting photos of carcasses of wild animals on Facebook and boasting that he had hunted and killed them, according to media reports.

A photo taken from the Facebook page of Jakkrit Jeenphet, which has now been closed.

Department director-general Cholathis Surasawadee came come across the man's Facebook posts.

He ordered Atthapol Charoen, director of the Forest and Wildfire Control Office, to investigate and take action if the posts were true.

The official was later identified as Jakkrit Jeenphet, an official of the 4th Forest Protection Unit at Nong Tao Hin in Kamphaeng Phet province.  He had posted photos of dead wild cats, civets, squirrels, lizards and other animals on a Facebook page.  He claimed he had shot these animals and invited friends to visit him to eat dishes cooked with their meat.

Cheewapap Cheewatham, chief of the Phayak Phrai operation unit in the area, said Mr Jakkrit, accompanied by his father, had reported to Mr Atthapol to defend his actions.

Mr Jakkrit said that about 4pm on the day he posted the images he went to help people of Ban Lan Krathing in tambon Wang Khuang of Kamphaeng Phet's Phran Kratai district harvest their rice.  The villagers had eight or nine dogs with them.

A number of wild animals appeared in the harvest area and were chased and bitten by the dogs. They included two wild cats, two squirrels and one chicken.

He took photos of the animals and posted the images on Facebook, Mr Jakkrit said.

However, Mr Jakkrit's account was not viewed as credible, because he had done this before.

Mr Jakkrit was dismissed, pending a fact-finding investigation by a committee, said Mr Cheewapap.

If found free of any wrong-doing he may be reinstated.

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