A tiger cub was found hidden and drugged in a suitcase last weekend at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Piyawan Palasarn, a 31-year-old Thai woman, had checked-in the suitcase for her flight to Iran when the airport employees sent her oversized luggage for an X-ray, according to ABC news.
The woman was arrested before boarding the plane.
The women denied ownership to the luggage and said that she was just holding it for another passenger.
The cub was estimated to be about 3 months old, and has been sent to a wildlife conservation center in Bangkok.
“[The cub] appeared exhausted, dehydrated and couldn't walk, so we had to give him oxygen, water and lactation,” Chaiyaporn Chareesaeng, head of the Wildlife Health Unit at the Department of National Parks’ Wildlife and Plant Conservation Center, told UKPA.
A DNA test has been conducted to see whether the cub was caught in the wild or captive-bred.
Palasarn is facing a sentence up to four years in prison and a $1,300 fine for two wildlife smuggling-related charges, according to the police.
Wildlife experts said that the cub could have received up to $3,200 on the black market in Iran.