Emotional support porcupine? We think not. A woman was recently caught traveling with over a hundred exotic animals including 2 porcupines and 50 snakes, along with several other unusual species. She and another woman were charged with smuggling.
We’ve heard of an emotional support dog or cat. Or even the emotional support ostrich (true story!), but never the emotional support porcupine. Yet, two women were recently caught attempting to smuggle 2 white porcupines, and while they weren’t trying to pass them off as emotional support animals that’s exactly where our heads went as we considered the possible excuses.
Woman: “Uh, officer. Like, we traveling is hard, ok. And Jarvis and Ghengis, our rare porcupines, help us get through it ok. They are highly trained emotional support pets.”
Officer: “Right, ma’am. Ok”
Along with two porcupines, the women, who were attempting to travel out of Bangkok, also had 107 other animals with them including two armadillos, 20 snakes, 50 lizards and 30 turtles.
According to a CNN report, Nithya Raja, 38, and Zakia Sulthana Ebrahim, 24, both from India, were set to travel to the Indian city of Chennai from Bangkok when their bags were screened and a plethora of exotic animals was discovered.
Both women were detained and charged with violating the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act of 2019, the Animal Disease Act of 2015 and the Customs Act of 2017.
Animal smuggling is a hot business in many parts of the world with the Chennai Airport being one of the largest hotspots for such trafficking. A 2022 report noted that Chennai Airport was the top such airport for animal seizures with the Indian Star Tortoise being the most popular species being smuggled.
According to the Wildlife Justice Commission, the Indian Star Tortoise is trafficked by the thousands each year by criminal gangs. The vulnerable species of tortoise is highly sought after breed with perhaps only 10,000 or so estimated to remain.
She should get life in jail !!!