Moscow: A Russian woman who smuggled a 50-kilogramme lion cub onto a sleeper train claiming it was a domestic cat was being questioned today, police said.
The big cat was exposed after it began behaving aggressively early today on a passenger train heading for the city of Yekaterinburg 1,400 kilometres east of Moscow, police said.
The lion cub’s female owner “could not cope with the situation and it was necessary to urgently isolate the animal which was running wild,” police said.
“The lion cub had first been kept in a cage but then the woman accompanying it for some reason let the animal out,” a police spokesman told the Interfax news agency.
“When the animal, which was being transported without a muzzle, started behaving wildly, the woman couldn’t control it. She shut it in her sleeper car and asked the train staff for help.”
The woman faced questioning on “how she carried a 50-kilogramme, nine-month-old lion registered in travel documents as… a domestic cat,” police said.
Police said they would also question rail staff who “without proper checks allowed cargo on board that was so dangerous for surrounding people.”