Tiger Cub: Freed, Fuzzy Headed
The cat's out of the bag—at least for a woman caught smuggling a live, two-month-old, drugged tiger cub in a suitcase full of toys (pictured) at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Thai national, whose identity has not been revealed by Thai authorities, was scheduled to board a Mahan Air flight to Iran. But when she was seen struggling with a large bag at check-in, airport officials decided to x-ray her luggage.
The x-rays revealed the tranquilized tiger cub among stuffed-tiger toys, according to a statement released Thursday by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network. (Related video: "Tiger Trade Slashes Big Cats' Numbers.")
Officials are investigating whether the cub was wild caught or captive-bred, as well as where the woman intended to bring the tiger.
All Asian tigers are listed as endangered or worse by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), mostly due to the illegal trade in tiger parts. (Read about how to save tigers with National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.)