Passenger carrying leopard cub detained at airport

Animal rehabilitated in the Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Authorities at the international airport on Saturday detained a passenger who was carrying a leopard cub in his baggage.

He was handed over to the Tamil Nadu Forest Department for further inquiry.

Based on intelligence that prohibited wild animals were likely to be smuggled from Thailand, officers of the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) were on special alert at the Customs arrival hall.

The team noticed a nervous male passenger rushing out after collecting his luggage. A faint sound was heard coming from his luggage.

Passenger intercepted

He was intercepted and brought to the AIU room for questioning. The passenger was identified as Kaja Moideen, 45, who had arrived from Bangkok by a Thai Airways flight. Inside his luggage, they found a pink plastic basket, in which a leopard cub was found. The animal was in a state of shock and appeared to be weak. The Customs officers fed milk to the cub through a feeding bottle. This seemed to revive the animal.

Commissioner of Customs Rajan Chaudhary said, “Officials of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) were called and they identified the animal as a leopard cub of the Panthera pardus species. To ascertain the health status of the cub, a veterinary doctor was called from the Arignar Anna Zoological Park. They inspected the cub and told us that it was a one-month-old female, weighing 1.1 kg, measuring 54 cm and that it was in good health. The leopard cub was seized under provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, read with the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).”

The cub was rehabilitated in the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Chennai, and the Forest Department will take appropriate action under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, against the passenger.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 8:05:13 AM |

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