|A tiger cub that was rescued from a suitcase at Bangkok’s international airport was fed by a veterinarian yesterday. (Sakchai Lalit/Associated Press)|
Baby tiger found stuffed in suitcase
BANGKOK — Authorities at Bangkok’s international airport found a tiger cub that had been drugged and hidden alongside a stuffed toy tiger in the suitcase of a woman flying from Thailand to Iran, an official and a wildlife protection group said yesterday.
The woman, a Thai national, had checked in for her flight and her overweight bag was sent for an X-ray, which showed what appeared to be a live animal inside, according to TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring group.
The woman was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport before boarding her flight Sunday. The cub, estimated to be about 3 months old, was sent to a wildlife conservation center in Bangkok.
A DNA test was expected to provide details about its origin.
“Had the animal passed the oversize baggage check and gone through four to five hours of travel, its chances of survival would have been slim,’’ said Nirath Nipanant, chief of the airport’s wildlife checkpoint.
The woman, identified as Piyawan Palasarn, 31, faces up to four years in prison and a $1,300 fine for wildlife smuggling-related charges, police said.