Tiger Cub Found in Woman’s Suitcase
Investigation is underway.
A 31 year old Thai woman, whose name has been withheld pending a complete investigation, has been remanded in custody by Thai authorities for attempting to smuggle a tiger cub in her suitcase. The tiger was found heavily sedated and hidden among other stuffed animals.
The woman was arrested after an x-ray picked up signs of a live animal, but vehemently denied any knowledge of the tiger. According to Nirat Nipanand, an airport customs official in charge of tracking animals, “the woman trying to check in the over-sized bag denied any knowledge of the tiger. She said she was carrying it for someone else.”
Tiger populations in Asia have dwindled over the years due to poaching and illegal trade and wildlife groups have called for stiffer penalties to be enforced. If found guilty, the woman could face up to four years in prison and a US $1, 300 fine.
The cub, thought to be about two months old, with an estimated market value of £2, 000 has been sent to a wildlife rescue center in Bangkok where tests are being carried out to determine whether it was born in captivity or seized from the wild.
Tigers are listed as endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) and since 1987, the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), of which Thailand is a signatory, subsequently banned their trade.
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