Man caught trying to smuggle two otters and a prairie dog in his trousers

Man caught trying to smuggle two otters and a prairie dog in his trousers

The suspect was detained with two Asian small-clawed otters and a prairie dog hidden in three socks taped to his underwear (Picture: Viral Press)

A tourist tried to smuggle two otters and a dog out of Thailand by hiding them in his trousers. 

The 22-year-old, from Taiwan, was detained at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok on Tuesday as he was due to get on a flight back to Taipei. 

Security’s suspicions were aroused by what appeared to be a large bulge protruding below the man’s waistband. 

Body scans revealed what turned out to be two Asian small-clawed otters and a prairie dog concealed in his trousers. 

Stuffed into three separate socks and then taped into the man’s boxer shorts, the animals are believed to have been purchased from a market in the Thai capital. 

The smallest of some 13 species of otter and native to the region, Asian small-clawed otters are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List – an inventory of animals around the world feared to be at risk of extinction. 

Although more commonly found in the grasslands of the United States, prairie dogs are also listed as an endangered species by the organisation.

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The 22-year-old Taiwanese tourist is thought to have purchased the exotic animals from a market in Bangkok (Picture: Viral Press)

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Authorities held the suspect, who is understood to be facing charges under a number of local laws, including Thailand’s Animal Conservation and Protection Act. 

The animals meanwhile were taken in by the country’s Wildlife Conservation Office.

Thai Customs Department spokesperson Phanthong Loykulnant said: ‘Thailand is not a gateway to smuggle exotic animals out of the country. 

‘We will catch anyone who tries to take animals on planes.’

More: Trending

However bizarre, the recent discovery pales by comparison to a similar incident at the same airport last year – when two women were caught trying to board a flight to India with more than a hundred live animals concealed in their suitcases.

Nithya Raja, 38, and Zakia Sulthana, 24, were detained after 50 chameleons, 35 turtles, 20 snakes, two porcupines and two armadillos were found in their bags. 

Thailand has proven an increasing hotspot for illicit wildlife trafficking in recent years, with many of smuggled animals discovered en route to India and China.

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