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Sunday, May 3, 2015

zoo in a suitcase ~ seizure at Domodedovo airport - greed of man !!

Domodedovo is a town in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located 37 kilometers (23 mi) south of Moscow. Domodedovo was founded in 1900  and reportedly named d after a nearby village of Domodedovo, which is known to have existed since 1410.  Recently the airport was in news – as baggage came out onto the carousel, so did a man, fast asleep, with seemingly no idea at what was happening. It is unclear just exactly how the man came to be on the carousel or his state — was he inebriated, just tired or lost? And while a few passengers were seen taking photos, the majority didn’t flinch as he cruised past them on the baggage belt.  Moscow Domodedovo Airport is an international airport, the largest airport in Russia and the former USSR in terms of passenger and cargo traffic.

Recently I had posted about the armed guards keeping vigil on 43 year old Sudan, which is the last hope for its species -  the  northern white rhinoceros  (Ceratotherium simum cottoni).  The  demise of this species, is an indictment of what the human race is doing to planet earth and it’s not just happening to rhinos.   The mass wiping of the species was done by the human greed, of a creature big and otherwise harmless – the only wrong that they possessed horns, which humans wrongly believed  to be of great curative value.

If it is poaching which did them in – there is also ‘smuggling’of smaller species – yet this report of a “zoo in a suitcase” is rare and not totally unheard of !!!

MailOnline reports that Customs officials have seized what is being described as a 'zoo in a suitcase' from a woman accused of smuggling 108 exotic animals in Russia. In the bag, carried in the hold of the aircraft, there were 55 snakes, 35 lizards, seven turtles, six lemurs, two monkeys and even a suspected leopard cub. Two baby crocodiles died on the journey from Jakarta to Moscow and all the survivors appeared terrified when they were found after the 6,515-mile ordeal.

The menagerie came to light when customs officials at Domodedovo airport electronically scanned a 27kg bag belonging to an unnamed female passenger who had flown from Indonesia via Qatar ~and  were started to find the cargo comprising of more than 100 exotic animals stuffed in this suitcase belonging to a female passenger travelling on a flight from Indonesia to Russia.   Among the animals seized was this suspected leopard cub, a species which is listed in the Red Book of endangered animals. If it turns out to be the case, the suspect could face up to seven years in prison
Spokeswoman Larisa Ledovskikh said: 'The animals were packed in tiny cages and plastic boxes and each snake was in small bag made of cloth.' Experts are trying to identify the 'amazingly beautiful "kitten" with bright green eyes and stripes' among the trafficked animals. Officials in Moscow suspect it is a leopard cub, a species which is listed in the Red Book of endangered animals.

The suspect claimed she bought the animals for £130 in a market in Indonesia; the  suspect denied intending to sell the animals on the black market, claiming they were 'for future breeding'.  Exotic animals are a lucrative business in Russia, where private zoos are seen as de rigueur for the wealthy. 

'It was a sad scene - exhausted monkeys, scared lemurs, the begging green eyes of a beautiful "cat",' wrote newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.  After being impounded, the hungry and exhausted creatures were handed to employees of Moscow's 'Exotic Park' where they will be cared for until their future is decided.  'They will also establish if any of these animals are under protection of the international convention on rare species.'

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

15th Apr 2015.

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