Baby Leopards, Monkeys, Bear Cub & More Stashed In Man's Suitcase at Thai Airport


Photo by MacJewell via Flickr CC

We couldn't make this stuff up if we tried, and sadly, it's all true. A man has been arrested, who had baby exotic animals of all sorts stashed in his suitcase in an attempt to smuggle the drugged cubs out of the country and sell them as pets in Dubai. The 36-year-old UAE citizen was arrested at Bangkok's international airport while waiting to check in for his flight. Huffington Post reports that he "had been monitoring him since his black market purchase of the rare and endangered animals, according to the FREELAND Foundation, an anti-trafficking group based in Thailand."

His suitcase contained two leopard cubs, two panther cubs, an Asiatic black bear cub, and two baby macaque monkeys. According to the report, the sedated cubs were in flat cages so they had very limited mobility, and some were even placed inside canisters with air holes.

"It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We've never seen one like this before," Steven Galster, director of FREELAND, said. "The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases."

The Guardian notes, "In Thailand leopards and panthers fetch roughly $5,000 (£3,000) apiece on the black market but their value in Dubai was presumably higher, Galster said. It was not known whether the animals were destined to be resold or kept as exotic pets, which is popular in the Middle East."

Galster's staff was present at the time of the arrest. The organization reports that the animals have been taken to a veterinarian clinic nearby for further care.

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Tags: Animals | Conservation

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