A Russian tourist was arrested after he attempted to smuggle a orangutan in his luggage on his way home from Bali.
According to the Independent UK, Andrei Zhestkov was arrested Friday at the Ngurah Rai International Airport after he was inspected by airport security before his flight home to Russia. Authorities stated they discovered the two-year-old orangutan sleeping inside of a rattan basket. Blankets and baby formula was also found in Zhestkov’s luggage.
Conservation Agency Official Ketut Catur Marbawa said in a statement that he believe the primate was drugged prior to the trip:
“We believe the orangutan was fed allergy pills which caused him to sleep. We found the pills inside the suitcase“
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Zhestkov explained to officials that the pri4mate was given to him as a gift and that the animal was priced for $3,000 at a street market. He also mentioned that his friend told him he could bring the animal home.
Officials also found two geckos and five lizards inside of Zhestkov’s luggage. He faces up to five years in prison and $7,000 in fines for attempting to smuggle the endangered animal.