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“I’m not a lone hero”: Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary chief

Wichien Chinnawong, the chief of the Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, is the talk of the town this week, after he led a team of park rangers to arrest one of the country's influential construction tycoon whose Italian Thai Development Plc is now undertaking governments's mega infrastructure projects worth several hundred billion baht.

I'm not a lone hero. I can't work alone, but with my team. I can work because my subordinates devoted to work. My colleagues and brothers gave me support, he said during an exclusive interview with Thai PBS.

He said he never anticipated that what his team did would become talk of the town.

Wichien said that his filing of complaint with the police against influential people for poaching in wildlife sanctuaries was not the first time.

He recalled a recent case when he filed complaint with the local police to take legal action against a local politician in a northeastern province for hunting in Phu Sithan wildlife sanctuary.

So, this latest complaint against the Italian-Thai chief executive Premchai Karnasuta didn't concern him if what he did was right, he said.

He said wildlife population in the northeast forests keeps shrinking and there is neither tiger not outstanding animals as in the western forest like Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary which is the habitat of black panthers.

He said whether hunting in wildlife sanctuary would be rampant depended on how strict the authorities would enforce the laws.

At the time when I was there, a local influential politician was caught poaching in the sanctuary, and we had to do our job without any deal, he said.

The action against the Italian-Thai chief executive was the job of a team work, and not his alone, he said, referring to over 200 rangers working under his leadership at the sanctuary.

Wichien was put on the job at Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary just 11 months ago.

But with his devotion to work and a straightforward man, he gained respect from over 200 subordinates

working in the sanctuary.

He encouraged all his staff to protect the wilderness with their lives, particularly poaching for wildlife species.

All his staff told Thai PBS that since the complaint against the construction tycoon, he seemed to have a few hours a day for rest.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)