An unmarked wooden box only 16 inches tall sat at the Beirut Airport in Lebanon for a week before being opened – and people were shocked to find out three endangered Siberian tiger cubs inside. Dehydrated and starved, they were covered in urine and feces, their bodies infested with hundreds of maggots. “Nothing indicated that the box contained tigers or even live animals, and there were no details of a shipper or receiver,” rescue group Animals Lebanon (AL) wrote.


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Turned out, the cubs were travelling from the the Nikolaev Zoo in Ukraine to the Samer al-Husainawi Zoo in Damascus, Syria when they got stuck in Lebanon.

This horrible scene people witnessed when they opened the box revealed just how badly exotic animals are sometimes being treated. AL made a plea to confiscate the tigers from their original owner arguing this was a case of cruelty against animals. Now the cubs are safe and sound and getting stronger every day.

“Big cats can be worth tens of thousands of dollars on the black market. The owner is fighting to get them back,” AL wrote. “And we are fighting for the tigers.”

Update: Bored Panda contacted Animals Lebanon who clarified that while being stuck at the airport, the tiger cubs did get visited by a representative of the importing zoo for around 15 minutes each day before being rescued. While the tiger babies are getting stronger everyday, their future is unknown. There’s a chance they could be given back to the legal owner and probably end up on the black market, but Animals Lebanon is doing everything for that not to happen. To support their case, visit the website below.

More info: Animals Lebanon | Facebook (h/t: thedodo)

An unmarked wooden box was left at the Beirut Airport in Lebanon for a week before being opened…

Image credits: Animals Lebanon

And people were shocked to find three endangered Siberian tiger cubs inside

Image credits: Animals Lebanon

Dehydrated and starved, they were covered in urine and feces, their bodies infested with hundreds of maggots

Image credits: Animals Lebanon

“Nothing indicated that the box contained tigers or even live animals, and there were no details of a shipper”

Image credits: Hussein Malla

Now the cubs are safe and sound and getting stronger every day at Animals Lebanon

“Big cats can be worth tens of thousands of dollars on the black market”

Image credits: Hussein Malla

“The owner is fighting to get them back… And we are fighting for the tigers”

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