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Tiger cub found drugged, hidden in suitcase

August 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Officials at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport found a tiger cub that had been drugged and hidden in a suitcase, authorities said on Friday.

The tiger cub is in good health.

A Thai woman, who was flying from Thailand to Iran, checked in the bag, but a routine X-ray showed there was a live animal inside. The cub had been hidden among stuffed toy tigers. The toys were an apparent ploy to fool inspectors.

They were not fooled, and the woman, identified as 31-year-old Piyawan Palasarn, was arrested. She faces up to four years in prison and a 40,000 baht ($1,300) fine for two wildlife smuggling-related charges, police said.

The cub, about three months old, was sent to a wildlife conservation center in Bangkok.

"He appeared exhausted, dehydrated and couldn't walk, so we had to give him oxygen, water and lactation," said Chaiyaporn Chareesaeng, head of the Wildlife Health Unit at the Department of National Parks' Wildlife and Plant Conservation Center, where the animal was put under close supervision.

"We have monitored him closely. As of today, he looks better and can walk a little now."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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