Leopard cub discovered in passenger's luggage at Indian airport

Indian officials have caught a passenger with a month-old leopard cub in his luggage.

The man flew into Chennai from Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight on Saturday morning (local time).

Rajan Chaudhary, Chennai Airport's commissioner of customs, says officials became suspicious after hearing noises coming from his bag.

"On Saturday morning, AIU officers noticed that a male passenger was moving in a suspicious manner in the arrival area," he says.

"After he collected his check in luggage, he was walking in a rather hurried manner. A faint sound was coming from his checked-in luggage."

The man was detained for questioning, and his baggage was opened for further examination.

"On examination of his stroller bag, a pink plastic basket was found in which a small animal resembling a leopard cub was found," Mr Chaudhary said in a statement.

"The animal was in a state of shock, and was making trill sounds and appeared to be weak."

A video by the airport authorities shows officials giving the cub milk from a baby's bottle. Officials confirmed that it was a female cub weighing just over 1kg.

Authorities are now investigating if the man is part of an international smuggling ring.