Thai police charge South Korean actress with catching endangered species

Actress Lee Yeol-eum is accused of catching an endangered species.

South Korean actress Lee Yeol-eum has been charged by police in Thailand for catching and killing an endangered marine species while starring in a reality television show.

Lee, 23, was filmed catching three giant clams from a Thai marine reserve in the southern province of Trang as part of a June 30 episode of a popular South Korean television show "Law of the Jungle," which assigns celebrities different missions to survive in the wilderness.

After the show aired, Narong Kongeiad, chief of the Hat Chao Mai National Park, accused Lee of violating wildlife laws and filed charges against the actress on July 4, according to the Associated Press. Lee could be sentenced to up to four years in prison and fined up to 40,000 baht (US$1,300), according to the AP.

The company that produces the reality show, Seoul Broadcasting System, said in an statement last week that it “deeply apologizes for filming the episode without fully understanding the local wildlife regulations regarding the hunting of Thai giant clams,” and that it will pay particular attention to those regulations during future productions.

Representatives for Lee were not immediately available for comment.