Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- A live tiger cub hidden in a suitcase filled with stuffed toys was spotted as it went through a luggage X-ray at a major Thai airport, a wildlife trade monitoring network said.
Staff at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport contacted authorities after a baggage scan showed an item resembling a real cat in a passenger's over-sized bag, the non-profit organization TRAFFIC said Thursday.
Investigators found a sedated, two-month-old tiger cub when they opened the bag for inspection.
Officials are trying to determine where the cub came from and whether it was caught in the wild or bred in captivity, TRAFFIC said.
Authorities found the tiger Sunday in a suitcase belonging to a 31-year-old Thai national, who was scheduled to board a flight for Iran, the organization said.
Chris R. Shepherd, TRAFFIC's deputy regional director for Southeast Asia, praised authorities for discovering the smuggling attempt, but said the case showed a need for more monitoring and tougher punishments.
"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," Shepherd said. "Only sustained pressure on wildlife traffickers and serious penalties can change that."
UMMMMM...is this fo' real? This seems like the type of hair-brained scheme that crosses my mind on a daily basis, but I never have the balls to go through with. Like I see a cute puppy at the pet shop, realize I def dont have enough money, then look at my purse, size up whether I think the little creatures gonna fit, then give up and go buy a latte instead.
I get that there's probably a market for smuggling exotic animals, but like was this their first time around the ring? Can you just picture their brainstorming session, "Ok were gonna go to the jungle spend tons of money and risk life and limb tracking exotic baby tigers, and then to make sure the whole smuggling thing gets pulled off smoothly without any hiccups - lets just shove it in a suitcase at an international airport with x-ray machines, checkpoints, and security men with guns and hope the tiger doesnt take a shit in the suitcase"? Not to mention they picked like the two scariest fucking countries on earth to go between, Taiwan and Iran, ya right!? This whole thing sounds like a drunken high stakes bet gone wrong. Like I literally question bringing an apple or a 20 oz toothpaste through customs nowadays, but not these guys.
And wouldn't you imagine that as they were putting the suitcase on the conveyer belt toward the x-ray machine they might have been like "uh this is probably not gonna fly," were they just hoping there was going to be a glitch or banking that the x-ray guy would be scratching his balls when the tiger went through? These people had some big cajones or were probably the stupidest exotic animal smugglers of all time. Regardless, I want that baby tiger.