Airport Security Couldn't Believe Who Was Smuggled In This Pipe
He was destined to be someone's pet 😢
When going through airport security, carrying a big metal pipe inside your suitcase is a sure way to trigger some suspicion.
That was the case for officers at Sentani International Airport in New Guinea last week — and their instinct that something was awry turned out to save a life.
The pipe was long and it appeared to be stuffed with something, but when guards questioned the passenger, he claimed it was packed with clothes.
Inside was actually a monitor lizard, likely stolen from his home in the wild to be sold into the illegal pet trade.
This type of lizard, known as the Papuan or crocodile monitor, is a species endemic to New Guinea that can grow up to 8 feet long from nose to tail. They often live in mangrove swamps and rainforests in the southeastern part of the island — and occasionally are captured to become pets.
Luckily, after his near-tragic trip, this striking reptile now has a second chance at life in the wild where he belongs.
“A round of applause for aviation security and quarantine officials, who weren't fooled by a declaration of 'clothes' on a consignment,” Traffic Southeast Asia, a wildlife trade monitoring network, said on Facebook after the bust. “Live reptiles for the pet trade are often smuggled in luggage through airports. Think before you buy and [always] report wildlife crime.”