Passengers onboard a recent VietJet flight experienced a mid-air shock when a giant albino rat and an otter escaped from a traveler’s carry-on bag, causing chaos in the plane cabin during the three-hour journey between Bangkok, Thailand, and Taipei, Taiwan.
Unwanted Cabin Companions at 30,000 Feet
The incident unfolded when a passenger returned from the restroom and received a whispered warning from a friend that there was a rat on the plane. Confused at first, the passenger soon realized it was a pet rat with a distinctive white body. Quick to alert the cabin crew, they immediately initiated a search. To their surprise, they not only discovered the white rat but also an otter hiding under one of the seats. The rat, when caught, bit an employee who was trying to carry it back to the plane’s kitchen.
Plane, or Wildlife Sanctuary?
Upon landing at Taoyuan International Airport, officials from Taiwan’s animal and plant health inspection agency conducted a thorough inspection of all the bags on board. Their search yielded even more surprising results. Hidden within the passengers’ belongings were one marmot, two additional otters, 28 star turtles, and two unidentified rodents. The responsible party, a Chinese passenger, was not co-operative with the officials.
A Costly Endeavor
The woman responsible for smuggling the animals now faces severe consequences. Under regulations relating to the control and prevention of infectious diseases, she could be fined up to £25,000. The details of how she managed to sneak these critters through security at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport remain unclear, but this incident is not isolated. In the first half of the previous year, more than 1,000 smuggled wild animals were identified at the Bangkok aviation hub, highlighting the ongoing issue of wildlife trafficking in the region.
Passengers on the VietJet flight between Bangkok and Taipei certainly had an unexpected adventure during their journey when an albino rat and an otter made a daring escape from a fellow traveler’s luggage. The incident underscores the ongoing problem of wildlife smuggling and the need for stricter security measures at airports to prevent such occurrences. As the responsible passenger faces potential fines, authorities are left grappling with the question of how to effectively curb the illegal trade in exotic animals.
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