South Korean actress Lee Yeol-eum has been charged in Thailand for catching endangered giant clams while filming for a reality TV show. The actress caught three giant clams in a Thai national marine park in March during filming for the show “Law of the Jungle”. She and other participants of the show then ate the clams. This episode aired in Korea on June 30.
According to The Inquirer, an official stated that Lee could face up to four years in prison if found guilty. The chief of Hat Chao Mai National Park, Narong Kongeiad, has stated that he filed charges against Lee for violating wildlife laws. Aside from the maximum penalty of four years in prison, there is also a fine of up to Bt40,000 (approximately PHP67,000).
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According to a report by Asian Junkie, “Law of the Jungle” has taken down video clips of the cast catching and cooking the giant clams. The reality show also issued a statement, apologizing for the incident, saying: “We sincerely apologize for failing to become fully informed of the local regulations regarding giant clams in Thailand, and we will be more aware of our actions in the future.”
Some fans have pointed out that Lee should not take full blame for the mistake, saying that it was the responsibility of the show’s producers and staff for green-lighting the activity.
“Law of the Jungle” is a Korean reality TV series where participants, mostly celebrities, are put in a wilderness somewhere in the world and are left to survive by themselves for a couple of days.