It’s been leading up to this all summer… First, there was the idiot caught with 18 monkeys under his shirt at an airport in Mexico. Then, animal smuggling got cute and cuddly when a woman in Thailand was snagged hiding a tiger cub in her suitcase. And now internet meme has become reality as one of the world’s most wanted wildlife smugglers gets arrested in Malaysia with nearly 100 endangered snakes in his luggage.
The smuggler, who recently served 6 years in a U.S. prison for similar crimes, was detained by authorities at the airport in Kuala Lumpur earlier this week after airport employees spotted the rare reptiles slithering out of his busted suitcase as it passed down a conveyor belt.
According to reports, inspectors found 95 boa constrictors, two venomous rhinoceros vipers and, for good measure, a mata mata turtle.
This particular trafficker has previously escaped punishment in Malaysia, but wildlife groups are hoping that the international attention being given to this incident will see that he answers for the allegations.
Says a rep from TRAFFIC, an organization that monitors wildlife trading — and who are responsible for bringing the tiger cub story to light:
This matter cannot be taken lightly. Malaysia must rise to the challenge to rival those fearlessly involved in wildlife smuggling… Their attempt at mocking Malaysia’s legal system must be dealt with head-on. There is no excuse to be lax on a criminal offense of any nature.
But, this being Consumerist, we really want to know: Did he get his checked-baggage fee back from the airline?
Snakes found on a plane! [Mother Nature Network]