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FLORA AND FAUNA
Snakes and baby monkey seized at Thai airport
by Staff Writers
Bangkok (AFP) July 11, 2012


Thai airport authorities Wednesday found 11 pythons and a baby monkey among an array of creatures hidden in the suitcase of a Kuwaiti woman trying to board a flight from Bangkok, wildlife officials said.

A total of 24 live animals were found stashed in the woman's suitcase after she tried to check it in as oversized luggage on a flight to Kuwait, said Narongrit Sookprakarn, an official of the Thai Department of of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation based at Suvarnabhumi airport.

He said the woman fled the scene when asked to open her suitcase but police were able to identify her from her luggage tag and have issued an arrest warrant.

The baby monkey had been put in a box with holes for it to breathe through, while officials also discovered 12 tarsiers -- a small tree dwelling primate.

"We believe that the animals were going to be sold as pets," Narongrit said.

Thailand, a hub of international smuggling, makes regular grisly wildlife discoveries as traffickers feed a voracious demand for unusual pets and traditional medicines made from animal parts.

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