(WILDLIFE) The depth of sickness it takes to shove baby animals into luggage and hope they survive a 14-hour flight is hard to comprehend. All to populate some sheik’s private zoo. This is a level of disconnect that’s profoundly sad, and it doesn’t bode well for the remaining large mammals on the planet.

Thailand has severe punishment for drug smuggling, but surely this is a larger crime, both practically and ethically. While we’re relieved these particular babies were saved the horrible life that awaited them, exotic animal trafficking is an enormous problem that needs much more severe punishment. Make the punishment so draconian that people won’t be tempted to stuff animals into suitcases. And if caught, let the criminals languish for years behind bars. Perhaps then, they will understand the true meaning of their crime against nature.

It’s crucial that all countries institute mandatory sentencing for animal smuggling. And that the world’s wealthy elite who support this crime stop looking at the planet like it’s a personal petting zoo. Enough must be enough. – Global Animal


Thai police confiscated two leopards, two panthers, an Asiatic black bear, one macaque monkey and one marmoset from the luggage of a man as he tried to board a flight from Bangkok to Dubai on Friday, Thai authorities and an anti-trafficking group reported.

A three-month-old white-cheeked gibbon looks from inside a cage after Thai police arrested a citizen of the United Arab Emirates at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, May 13, 2011. Photo credit: Reuters

The animals were alive and received immediate veterinary care, according to the group, the FREELAND Foundation, which monitored the arrest.

The suspect, Noor Mahmoodr, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, was charged with possessing endangered wildlife and smuggling endangered wildlife, said Col. Kiattipong Khaosum-arng of the Thai nature crime police. Mahmoodr was released on bail pending trial, police said.

“We believe Mahmoodr has done this several times already, and there is a network involved in this case,” Kiattipong told CNN.

He said police received a tip that the smuggling attempt would happen Friday morning and were waiting at the airport to make an arrest.

More CNN: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/13/leopards-panthers-bear-other-animals-saved-from-luggage-at-thai-airport/?hpt=T2

EDITORIAL: Total Disconnect: The Woman Who Drugged And Smuggled A Tiger Cub