By Eric Isselee/shutterstock

Airline Passenger Smuggles One Month Old Leopard Cub in his Hand Luggage

by | February 6, 2019

An airline passenger smuggles one month old leopard cub in his hand luggage! This unbelievable incident happened on a flight from Bangkok to Chennai. The passenger has been arrested, according to the Indian authorities. Customs officials suspicions were raised when they heard noises coming from the passenger’s bag, in which he was hiding the 2.2 lb leopard cub hidden in a plastic grocery basket.

Passenger Smuggles One Month Old Leopard
By PhotocechCZ/shutterstock
Airline Passenger Smuggles One Month Old Leopard Cub

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Airline Passenger Smuggles One Month Old Leopard Cub in his Hand Luggage

An official at the airport said that the forty-five-year-old passenger, whose nationality remains unclear, was evasive in his responses to questions about the noises coming from inside his luggage. Authorities opened his luggage for further investigation and found the animal, who was said to be in a state of shock, making trill sounds and appeared to be weak.

Airport officials handed custody of the passenger over to the state’s wildlife crime bureau, who are now investigating whether the man was carrying the leopard as part of an international smuggling chain.

A video captured at the airport showed officials bottle-feeding the leopard cub.

After an assessment by veterinarians, the leopard cub was brought to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai.

Leopards can be found all across the Asian continent. They are a highly vulnerable species. Their population is dwindling because of poaching for skins and body parts for the illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss. Leopards are an endangered species in India, where officials estimate there are at most, fourteen thousand of the beautiful majestic creatures in the wild. Smuggling leopards in or out of India is illegal.

Leopards are great climbers and rely on trees for cover, so they are found in various forested habitats, including rain forests, dry deciduous forests, temperate forests, and northern coniferous forests. Leopards are lone predators who remain well hidden at night but come down from the trees to hunt during the day. They are opportunistic hunters that are built for strength rather than speed, with large skulls and powerful jaw muscles to kill medium-sized prey.

Airline passenger smuggles one month old leopard cub might be the most bizarre news you have heard lately!


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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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