Two Indian women have been arrested at the Suvarnabhumi airport in Thailand for smuggling more than 100 live animals, including chameleons, turtles and snakes, wildlife protection officers said Tuesday.
Officers discovered two porcupines, two armadillos, 20 snakes, 35 turtles and 50 chameleons stuffed into bags belonging to the women. The animals were suffering from dehydration, officials said. Two dead iguanas were also found in the bags.
The animals are being treated and will be moved to an animal center or breeding facility, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said.
Thailand is a major transit hub for wildlife smugglers. “This kind of case has happened many times because the animals have expensive price tags in India,” Sathon Konggoen, chief of the airport’s wildlife inspection office, told news agency AFP.
The animals were discovered when the two women passed through X-ray machines at the airport en route to Chennai in India, officials said. They have been charged with violations of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act, the Animal Epidemics Act and the Customs Act.