Bangkok, 27th August 2010: Investigations are under way after officers were called by airport staff when they believed they had seen a living animal in a suitcase of a female Thai national on her way to Iran, as it went through the x-ray machine.
The Thai passenger who was due to fly to Iran was seen struggling with her large case at check in where staff reported seeing what resembled a real animal. The two month old cub that had been sedated was found by wildlife officers after they were called in.
The young tiger is being cared for at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Rescue Center while investigations to determine whether the cub was from the wild or captive bred is underway.
South East Asia Deputy Regional Director for Traffic Chris Shepherd said:”We applaud all the agencies that came together to uncover this brazen smuggling attempt. If people are trying to smuggle live tigers in their check in luggage, they obviously think wildlife smuggling is something easy to get away with and do not fear reprimand. Only sustained pressure on wildlife traffickers and serious penalties can change this.”
He has called for regular monitoring and harsher penalties.