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Baby leopards, bears found in bags at Thai airport

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In this photo released Friday by the FREEDLAND Fundation, a leopard cub looks out from a cage after being confiscated by Thai authorities at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
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BANGKOK >> Authorities at Bangkok’s international airport have arrested a first-class passenger whose suitcases were filled with baby leopards, panthers, a bear and monkeys. The animals had been drugged and were bound for Dubai.

The man arrested was a 36-year-old United Arab Emirates citizen.

Anti-trafficking group FREELAND says the man was apprehended early Friday by undercover officers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport as he waited to check in for his flight.

Authorities opened his suitcases and found two leopards, two panthers, an Asiatic black bear and two macaque monkeys.

Thailand is a hub for illegal wildlife trafficking, but authorities finding so many live mammals is unusual. Typical hauls are of rare tortoises, snakes and lizards.

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