The Traffic web site – the wildlife trade monitoring network – recently reported that a two-month old tiger cub was found sedated and hidden among stuffed-tiger toys in the luggage of a woman at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
The cub is being cared for at the Rescue Centre of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. DNA samples will be sent to the tiger enclosure at Khaopratab Wildlife Rescue Centre to determine which subspecies the cub belongs to, which will help determine its origin.
Tiger populations in Thailand and throughout Asia are critically threatened by poaching and trade to meet the international demand for tiger parts, products and, as sadly illustrated in this case, live tigers.
Tigers – indeed, any wild animals – are not toys and nor are they ours to do with as we please. We should have long ago reached the point of respecting wildlife.