Airport Security Discovers Cougar Carcass Stuffed into Passenger's Luggage


Getting ready to travel on a plane?

You may want to think twice about what to pack in your luggage.

How to package valuables and limit the size of liquid containers are just some of the things that all travelers have to be wary of when passing through an airport.

Something many people may not have thought of before, though, is how to transport big game after a hunting trip.

Late last month, one airline passenger’s travel plans were interrupted when airport authorities found a dead cougar inside of his luggage.

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A Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas reportedly discovered the large carcass, Metropolitan Police Lt. David Gordon said in a statement to Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The cougar apparently did have a Utah State Fish and Game Tag, Gordon said.

However, TSA agents held the man at the airport while they took steps to confirm that the tag was valid.

Airport spokeswoman Melissa Nunnery stated that the man eventually opted to ship the carcass separately.

She admitted though, that she did not know where the creature was being sent.

“It is not a crime to transport game that is legal to possess via airlines,” Gordon told the Review-Journal.

“However, airlines reserve the right to tell passengers they do not want to transport certain items,” he continued.

The Nevada Division of Wildlife was reportedly not notified of the incident.

However, spokesman Doug Nielsen told the Review-Journal that it is common for hunted animals to pass through the airport, and that the Division of Wildlife only needs to be informed if there is apparent wrongdoing.

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Nielsen concluded that it is perfectly legal to transport hunted game through an airport, as long as the hunter follows TSA protocol and state hunting guidelines.

“As long as that’s a legally harvested animal, we don’t have any problem with them passing through Nevada,” Nielsen told the Review-Journal.

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