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A vet checks out the tiger cub after its rescue. Sakchai Lalit/AP/Press Association Images
Trafficking

Drugged tiger cub found in woman’s luggage

Bangkok airport police make unusual discovery.

THAI AUTHORITIES RESCUED a two-month-old tiger cub from a woman’s suitcase as she attempted to smuggle the animal out of the country on Sunday.

The drugged baby tiger was among a bag full of stuffed tiger teddies.

Airport authorities became suspicious when they spotted the woman struggling with the heavy bag. The live cub showed up in the x-ray check of the bag.

The woman was due to board a flight from Bangkok to Iran, when the sedated wildcat was discovered.

The cub is being cared for by specialists at a rescue centre in Thailand.

Chris Shepherd, from the animal protection organisation Traffic, praised authorities for rescuing the animal, and called for stronger monitoring systems and deterrents to be put in place.

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 that.

Traffic says that tiger populations through Asia are threatened by smugglers, despite being listed as an endangered species.

Thai officials are investigating whether the cub was bred in captivity, or captured from the wild.

[caption id="attachment_15731" align="alignnone" width="512" caption="A Thai veterinarian feeds the baby tiger cub at the Wildlife Health Unit at the Department of National Parks in Bngkok Thailand on 27 August, 2010."][/caption]

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