Can I file this under the ‘here’s something you don’t see everyday’ category?
On Saturday morning, customs officials at India’s Chennai Airport stopped a 45 year old male passenger coming off a flight from Bangkok for a random security check. As they frisked the passenger, they heard ‘muffled cries’ coming from the passenger’s checked luggage.
When they opened the passenger’s luggage to check what the noise was, they discovered a month old female Panthera Pardus leopard cub in a state of shock in a plastic basket making distressed noises.
I’m happy to report the airport officials were able to calm and feed the cub with milk, and the main reason for this article is to show you this adorable video:
You occasionally hear of reptiles and birds being smuggled either in luggage, or, in the old days before body scanners, strapped to passengers’ bodies.
I’m guessing the aircraft hold was heated during the flight (i.e. the heating was switched on because there were other animals in the hold that were properly checked in as live cargo), otherwise I am surprised the cub survived the flight.
Although the cub has been through a terrible ordeal I’m glad to see this one had a happy ending!
What is the strangest animal you have ever heard a passenger trying to smuggle on a flight?