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Red Panda and 86 Other Animals Discovered in Luggage at Thai Airport

Red Panda and 86 Other Animals in Luggage

The discovery of an endangered red panda and 86 other animals hidden in luggage at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport has sparked outrage and concern over wildlife trafficking. The incident, which led to the arrest of six individuals, sheds light on the persistent and illicit trade in exotic animals.

Discovery at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Photo Credits to the Rightful Owner
Photo Credits to the Rightful Owner

According to CNN International, Thai Customs Department officials uncovered the shocking find on Monday. They revealed a disturbing attempt to smuggle live animals out of the country. Among the creatures discovered were a red panda, a cotton-top tamarin monkey, a fishing cat, and a Sulawesi bear cuscus.

In addition to the red panda, the confiscated animals included lizards, snakes, birds, squirrels, bats, and more. These creatures were crammed into wicker baskets, plastic tubs, and fabric bags concealed within large suitcases intended for transport to Mumbai, India.

Violation of International Laws

The suspects, now in custody, face charges of violating multiple laws, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Their actions also contravened animal disease control laws and regulations concerning the exportation of live animals without proper declaration.

The incident at Suvarnabhumi Airport underscores the broader issue of wildlife trafficking, a lucrative and illegal trade plaguing airports worldwide. According to a report by TRAFFIC, Thailand ranks among the top countries for incidents of wildlife trafficking. This underscores the urgent need for international cooperation and enforcement to address the issue effectively.

Response from Conservationists

Kanitha Krishnasamy, director of TRAFFIC’s Southeast Asia office, emphasized the persistence of wildlife trafficking between Southeast Asia and South Asia. She attributed the surge in smuggling attempts to a growing demand for exotic pets. She urged authorities to address the trend’s root causes and emphasized the need to strengthen regulations. Such actions are vital to curb the illegal wildlife trade.

The discovery of the red panda and other animals at Suvarnabhumi Airport serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat posed by wildlife trafficking. Authorities cracking down on smugglers and organizations like TRAFFIC continue their efforts to combat illegal trade. A pressing need for global cooperation and heightened vigilance persists to protect endangered species from exploitation and extinction.

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