Passenger attempts to smuggle lion cubs as kittens through Cairo airport

Ahram Online , Friday 23 Jun 2017

Lion cubs
The two lion cubs at Giza zoo (Photo:Ayman Brayaz)

A passenger was stopped at Cairo International airport on Thursday while attempting to smuggle two lion cubs out of the country, claiming that they were domestic kittens, Ahram Arabic website reported.

According to the report, customs officials stopped a passenger from a Gulf state travelling with two boxes, inside of which were two lion cubs.

The passenger claimed that he had bought the animals from a pet shop and presented forged permits and certificates to prove this.

After authorities confiscated the cats and transferred them to medical quarantine, the kittens were proven to be lion cubs born days ago, and still nursing.

The passenger admitted that he bought the cubs from a lion trainer at a local circus in Marsa Matrouh governorate for a high price, convinced that they were a rare subspecies of lion.

Airport authorities notified the Cairo prosecution, which ordered that the cubs be delivered to Giza Zoo to receive proper treatment.

The Giza Zoo administration assigned two guards to look after the cubs 24 hours a day.

Cairo International Airport allows domesticated pets like dogs and cats to enter and leave the country with permits and health certificates. 

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