Airport Security Discovers Real Tiger Cub Among Toy Tiger Dolls In Suitcase

When security workers at a Bangkok airport thought they’d spotted a real cat hidden among the plush toys of a passenger’s suitcase, they were right… in a big way. That feline was more than your garden variety house cat; it was a 2-month-old tiger cub.

The cub was found in a bag belonging to a 31-year old Thai national who was scheduled to board a Mahan Air flight to Iran. But then they X-rayed her luggage.

After the airport scanners noticed the suspicious shape of the cub, they called in officers from the Livestock Development Department and the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, who opened the bag and found the sedated tiger baby.

According to wildlife trade monitoring site, the cub is being cared for at the Rescue Center of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. DNA tests are being done in order to determine which subspecies the cub belongs to, which will help determine its origin.

Even though tigers are categorized as Endangered species and international commercial trade of the animals is prohibited, poachers are still hunting and capturing the animals, which are then sold off for their prized parts or live to collectors of rare and dangerous wildlife.

At least this woman was smarter than the guy in Mexico who tried to smuggle 18 monkeys on to a plane by hiding them under his shirt.

Live Tiger found in check-in baggage [ via BBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I hope they have enough pepper around to keep him happy.

  2. Muddie says:

    Seeing baby tigers makes my I.Q. drop by about a good 40 points easy.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I guess the bright side is, at least he wasn’t delayed on the tarmac for four hours?

  4. Cantras says:

    Wow, could they have gotten a more adorable picture?

    /completely loses self to baby talk

  5. evfaithful says:

    First, I want one. Second, how many tigers or other exotic animals have been successfully smuggled this way? How much money are these traffickers making? How many animals die in transit? This is all kinds of jacked up.

  6. Amy Remax says:

    Really??? Sedated the baby tiger and stuffed it in a bag? I hope she gets brought up on animal abuse charges.

    • Noadi says:

      The punishment for animal abuse is far less than that for trafficking in endangered species. So regardless she’s likely to be spending a good stretch of time in prison.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I think the act of smuggling a protected species has far worse consequences than the abuse of the animal.

      • Pax says:


        Animal abuse charges might get you a month or two behind bars, and a modest fine.

        Smuggling a live, endangered animal through airport security,OTOH? 20 to life. Maybe more.

  7. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Time flies, doesn’t seem a minute Since the carry-on bag had the kittens in it…”Tigers, warm and sweet… one is set up in a wildlife park suite…”

  8. Hoot says:

    What happens if the sedatives wore off? >.>

    I’m picturing claw marks in everyone’s baggage.

  9. Big Mama Pain says:

    Dawwwwwwwwwwww…..widdle kitty

  10. zandar says:

    makes you wonder if this is SOP in exotic animal black market circles.

  11. aloria says:


  12. CarnivorousPETA says:

    Now just imagine what would happen had it been TSA who discovered the tiger.

    • Fidget says:

      Then someone from TSA would be giving their brat a pet tiger. Where people get the idea that they should own these things…seething beyond being articulate. I hope to God someone tracks down the original seller.

  13. scoosdad says:

    I read the details of this somewhere other than at the link above. Apparently they didn’t just see the “suspicious shape of the cub” on the x-ray, they saw bones and a skeleton.

    I’d expect that anytime the airport sees a small skeleton in the x-ray of somebody’s luggage, they take a look!

  14. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    Man I can’t wait for this episode of Locked up Abroad

    • Snakeophelia says:

      That was the first thing I thought of! Some naive British or American gal gets convinced by a con man: “Really, smuggling tigers is easy! Sure money! You’ll never get caught!”

  15. backinpgh says:


  16. theblackdog says:

    Awwwwwww, I’m glad he was found rather than end up dead from being transported like that.

  17. samonela says:

    Have they interviewed Mike Tyson yet?

  18. Dopaz says:

    Is the original “Catch a tiger by the toe” really a racist/slave oriented rhyme? I should check snopes.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Uh, I’m just barely old enough to remember…


      …that before it was “tiger” it was “tigger,” and before that it was still “tigger,” but it began with an N. Sorry.

  19. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Oh the poor baby kitty!!!

    Flog this person! Flog her now!

  20. thebaron says:

    I still want one….

  21. JennyDB says:

    Somewhere there is a really pissed off mama tiger!

  22. Camstang6907 says:

    Wasn’t it suspicious enough to find a suitcase full of stuffed animals? Who packs that, especially with baggage fees these days. Must have been Kate Gosselin.

  23. smo0 says:


    I wants!