Saturday, August 28, 2010

Is That A Tiger In Your Purse, Or Are You Just Scamming Security?

You've got all your liquids and gels in 3oz. bottles sealed in a clear plastic bag, you've stowed all your electronics in the same place for easy scanning, you've removed your laptop from its case, and taken off your shoes, now all thats left is the small issue of the tiger cub in your bag, and you'll be ready for take off.

The BBC recently reported on a woman in Bangkok who tried to board a plane with a tranquilized tiger cub in her checked bag. She placed the cub in among stuffed tiger toys to try to hide it. Needless to say the live tiger cub showed up when the bag was scanned, and the woman was arrested for attempted animal smuggling. She was trying to take it to Iran.  

Really? It astounds me how brazen some criminals are. Its a sad state of affairs when criminals think so little of the authorities that they attempt such things. I have to think that this woman can't be the first to ever smuggle an animal in her luggage. What I'd like to know is what can be done about it?

I know I keep relating current issues to past articles I've written, but this incident reminded me of an article from earlier this year on using genetics to crack down on chimpanzee trafficking in Africa. Essentially, the researchers genetically map the animals rescued from poachers to determine their family lines, and definitively say what regions that poachers are getting the animals from, to give the authorities a better idea of where to increase their presence. 

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