You've got to be kitten me!
An unnamed 45-year-old passenger was arrested last weekend for attempting to smuggle a month-old leopard cub into India.
The man was reportedly flying on a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok, Thailand, to Chennai, India, on Saturday. When he landed after the three-and-a-half-hour flight, the man tried to rush out of the airport, but officials stopped him after hearing odd noises coming from his luggage.
They discovered the exotic animal as they were questioning the man.
“He was evasive in his replies so his baggage was opened for further examination,” Chennai Airport Commissioner of Customs Rajan Chaudhary said, ABC Net reported.
When officials opened the luggage, they found a live 2.4-pound leopard cub inside a pink plastic crate.
“The animal was in a state of shock and was making trill sounds and appeared to be weak,” the official said.
Customs officers bottle-fed the wild cat until the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau came. The man, along with the cub, were turned over to India’s Tamil Nadu Forest Department, which is currently handling the case.
The leopard was eventually transferred to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, BBC reported, where it will be held until its place of origin can be ascertained. It will then be returned home.
The man is being investigated as potentially part of an international smuggling ring.