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article imageTiger cub found in luggage at airport

By Lynn Curwin     Aug 27, 2010 in World
Bangkok - A Thai woman tried to smuggle a two-month-old tiger cub to Iran by sedating and hiding it among stuffed toys in her luggage.
Airports of Thailand staff at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport X-rayed a large bag on August 22, and discovered the animal. They called officials from the Livestock Development Department and the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, who found the tranquilised animal packed in with several toy tigers.
The 31-year-old woman who had the cub in her large bag was scheduled to fly to Iran.
The animal is now at the rescue centre of the department of national parks, wildlife and plant conservation. It is not known if it came from the wild or was bred in captivity.
“We applaud all the agencies that came together to uncover this brazen smuggling attempt,” said Chris R. Shepherd, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia’s Deputy Regional Director, in a press release.
He added that the case demonstrates a need for constant monitoring and tougher penalties.
"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."
Tiger populations in Asia are critically threatened by poaching and trade to meet the international demand for tiger parts, products and live tigers.
Tigers are classed as endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which prohibits international commercial trade.
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