Autor Ardi - 27 August 2010 21:12
The 31-year-old, who was booked to fly to Iran, had checked in with an overweight suitcase, so it was sent away to be X-rayed by officials.
According to wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic, a live animal was detected and, when the -
bag was opened, a sedated baby tiger was discovered.
The cub, estimated to be about three months old, was sent on to a wildlife conservation centre in Bangkok.
Chaiyaporn Chareesaeng, head of the centre's wildlife health unit, said the animal has been under close supervision.
He appeared exhausted, dehydrated and couldn't walk, so we had to give him oxygen, water and lactation," he said.
"We have monitored him closely. As of today, he looks better and can walk a little now."
The woman, identified as Piyawan Palasarn, was charged with wildlife smuggling. If found guilty, she faces up to four years in prison and a 40,000 baht (£824) fine.
She has denied the suitcase was hers, telling authorities another passenger had asked her to carry it for them.
The cub could have fetched about 100,000 baht (£2,060) on the black market in Iran, where it is popular to have e-
But Nirath Nipanant, chief of the airport's wildlife checkpoint, said the baby tiger may not have even made the journey.
"I was a bit shocked because an animal isn't supposed to be treated like this," he said.
"Had the animal passed the oversize baggage check and gone through four to five hours of travel, its chances of survival would have been slim."
A DNA test was expected to provide details about the baby tiger's origin, wildlife officials added.
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