Leopard cub found in passenger's luggage
Published : 03 Feb 2019, 14:28
An air passenger who arrived in India from Thailand has been detained at the airport after customs officers found a month-old leopard cub in his luggage.
Suspicions were raised when officials heard noises coming from his bag, which was found to contain the 2.2lb (1kg) cub hidden in a plastic grocery basket.
The man had arrived at Chennai airport on Saturday on a flight from Bangkok.
Authorities are investigating whether the suspect is part of an international smuggling ring, officials said.
The 45-year-old, who has not yet been officially named, was said to have been "evasive in his replies" when questioned about his luggage by customs officers.
"The animal was in a state of shock and was making trill sounds, and appeared to be weak," airport officials said.
Footage captured at the airport showed officials bottle-feeding the leopard cub milk.
Following an assessment by veterinarians, the tiny cat was later taken to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai, where it will be cared for.
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