A plane flying from Bangkok to Taiwan took a wild turn when a rat and an otter smuggled on board by a passenger got loose in the main cabin mid-flight.
“I was confused, so he kept saying ‘pet rat, pet rat, he has a white body and he’s not small,'” one passenger told ViralPress.
Wednesday’s flight aboard a low-cost VietJet Air erupted into panic when flight attendants panicked upon noticing what passengers described as an albino rat and a nearly foot-long otter. long rushing to the ground.
A subsequent police search of the ship also discovered a box containing 28 live turtles, a snake, a marmot, two otters and two other rodents of unknown species among the luggage upon landing in Taipei.
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Police focused their investigation on a female passenger who allegedly smuggled the creatures through security at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Thailand. The woman faces a fine of up to $31,000, as stipulated in the Animal Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Act.
“I told the cabin crew and they checked the plane,” the passenger said. “That’s when they found the big otter under one of the seats.”
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“They kept looking for the white rat and an employee caught the rat,” the passenger added. “He bit them on the hand as they were carrying him back to the galley at the back of the plane.”
Cabin crew immediately ordered anyone carrying the animals on the plane to come forward. The culprit did not initially come forward, but after cabin crew began investigating, she demanded a refund and admitted to owning the runaway animals.
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The woman may have purchased the animals at a Thai market and sought to take them home after a visit.
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The turtles will remain in quarantine and the other animals will be sent to Pingtung University of Science and Technology for examination and “confirmation” before authorities “dispose of” them.
VietJet Air is the first private airline established in Vietnam and is currently the largest private airline in the country, according to the Victoria Advocate.