Otter Chaos: Wild Animals on Bangkok-Taipei Flight – Latest Updates and News

2023-10-06 05:43:19

Asia

Otter wreaks havoc on Bangkok-Taipei flight

A Bangkok airport employee was suspended after letting around 30 wild animals pass through.

PublishedOctober 6, 2023, 07:43

This photo released on October 5, 2023 by the Taiwan Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency, Taoyuan Branch, shows a baby otter that was seized on October 4 from an airline passenger by Taiwanese customs officers at the Taoyuan International Airport, near Taipei.

This photo released on October 5, 2023 by the Taiwan Animal and Plant Health Inspection Agency, Taoyuan Branch, shows a box of turtles that was seized on October 4 from an airline passenger by Taiwanese customs officers at the Taoyuan International Airport, near Taipei.

A Bangkok airport employee was suspended after two people boarded a plane to Taiwan on Wednesday with around 30 wild animals in their suitcases, some of which escaped during the flight. Thai media reported the chaotic journey of Thai Vietjet Air flight VZ564 from Bangkok to Taipei, when passengers noticed four-legged intruders roaming the cabin, including an otter.

Taiwanese authorities announced Thursday that they had seized 28 turtles, two otters, a marmot and two unidentified rodents found dead after the plane landed at Taoyuan airport. Two people suspected of animal trafficking are under investigation, they added.

On the Thai side, Suvarnabhumi airport, the largest in the kingdom, admitted human error when going through baggage control. “After viewing the surveillance images, we discovered that the traffickers were two foreigners whose luggage passed through the X-ray scanner,” said the airport manager. “One of the employees became suspicious and asked someone else to search the luggage. But he did not do it (…) We have suspended this employee and we are carrying out an investigation,” it is written in the press release released during the night from Thursday to Friday.

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Thailand is a notorious hub for wildlife trafficking, usually destined for major markets like Vietnam or China, where they are used in traditional medicine.

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