Monday, August 30, 2010

Illegal trade: Tiger cub found in luggage

A two-month old tiger cub was found sedated and hidden among stuffed-tiger toys in the luggage of a woman at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Sunday.

The 31-year old Thai national was scheduled to board a Mahan Air flight destined for Iran when she had trouble checking in her oversized bag. Airports of Thailand (AOT) staff suspected something amiss when they scanned the bag and x-ray images showed an item resembling a real cat. Officers from the Livestock Development Department and the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department were then called in to open the bag for inspection and discovered the tranquilized cub.

Investigations are underway to determine if the cub was wild caught or captive-bred, where it came from and the suspect’s intended final destination.

Tiger populations in Thailand and throughout Asia are critically threatened by poaching and trade to meet the international demand for tiger parts, products and, as illustrated in this case, live tigers.

Tigers are categorized as Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) prohibiting international commercial trade. Both captive and wild caught tigers fall under the same regulations.

I really don't understand what makes people pay unrealistic sums of money for endangered animals, ignoring the fact that is so important to keep the animals in their natural habitats or sanctuaries where the possibity of breeding excists.

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