Over 100 Live Animals Found Hidden In Suitcases At Bangkok Airport; Two Wildlife Smugglers Have Been Arrested

Photos from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation In Thailand

Two women from India were arrested on Monday at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok after they were caught trying to smuggle more than 100 wild animals in their luggage. The smugglers, reportedly 38-year-old Nithya Raja and 24-year-old Zakia Sulthana Ebrahim, were preparing to board a flight to Chennai, India.

According to a statement from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation in Thailand, Suvarnabhumi Airport officers used x-ray machines to search the suitcases. Upon finding two suspicious objects, the officers and officials proceeded to inspect the bags more thoroughly, finding many wild species. Two white porcupines, two armadillos, 35 turtles, 50 chameleons, and 20 snakes were all seized and sent to investigators.

The women were charged with violating the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act of 2019, the Animal Epidemic Act of 2015, and the Customs Act of 2017.

Yesterday, in another statement, Tachaphan Leelapata, a veterinarian from the Wildlife Health Management Group Wildlife Conservation Office confirmed that they had received 103 specimens in the collection of animals seized. The two armadillos and porcupines were among the many species including 50 iguanas, 35 yellow spot river turtles, six Sudanese chameleons, and eight Peter banded skink. Sadly, two iguanas and other animals were already deceased.

After examining the live animals, Leelapata determined that many of the animals were stressed and dehydrated. The staff has given the animals vitamin supplements, as well as species specific food and living conditions. The animals will eventually be sent to a wildlife rescue center.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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