In what must be one of the most bizarre scenarios ever to have gone down at an airport, a man was arrested in Bangkok last night after trying to smuggle exotic baby leopards, panthers, monkeys and a bear out of the country in suitcases.

Noor Mahmoodr, who was en route from Thailand to his home in the Dubai on a first class ticket, had been followed to the airport by members of the anti-trafficking FREELAND Foundation after he bought the animals illegally. “They’re not metal, these animals,” FREELAND director Steven Galster said, “The canisters they were put in could have disguised them looking like clothes folded up.” Mahmoodr had managed to slip past security and was about to board the plane when he was apprehended.

Attempting to smuggle live baby animals may seem audacious, but according to Galster, there’s a big payoff. Some of the critters can fetch up to $10,000 on the black market. Let’s hope these unwitting young travellers can make it back home to their parents.

via The Australian, Agencies.