in flat cages so they couldn’t move around and others inside canisters with air holes.
While Thailand is a hub for illegal wildlife trafficking, discovering smuggled live mammals is unusual. Rather, wildlife products or live reptiles (rare turtles, snakes and lizards) are more typical finds. In fact, last month, Thai customs officials seized 1,800 protected lizards destined to be sold as food.
Steve Galster of the Freeland Foundation noted that, in Thailand, leopards and panthers would fetch about $5,000 a piece on the black market but that their value in Dubai is presumably higher. It’s unknown if the animals were going to be resold or kept as exotic pets.