SINGAPORE: Two live hedgehogs were found hidden in a Singapore-registered car at the Woodlands Checkpoint by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers on Saturday (Aug 31).
The animals were wrapped in camouflage netting and hidden in the spare tyre compartment of the vehicle.
ICA said a 42-year-old Singaporean man was referred to the National Parks Board (NParks) for further investigation and that the hedgehogs are now under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
“Animals like hedgehogs are not suitable as pets as they may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and can be a public safety risk if mishandled or if they escape.
"These non-native animals may also pose a threat to local biodiversity if released into the environment,” ICA said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Several attempts to smuggle animals into Singapore via the land checkpoints have been made in recent months.
On Aug 10, ICA officers thwarted an attempt to smuggle 815 birds through Woodlands Checkpoint.
The birds were found in 15 containers hidden in modified compartments above the rear tyres of a Malaysia-registered bus. Only about 600 of the birds survived and are being cared for and quarantined at NParks' facilities.
Later that month, ICA officers at Woodlands Checkpoint found three sedated kittens hidden under the carpet of a Singapore-registered car.
In January, four live kittens were found hidden in a Singaporean man’s pants by ICA officers at Tuas Checkpoint.
The officers were prompted to conduct further checks when they heard “meowing” coming from a bulge in the 45-year-old’s pants.
Those found guilty of smuggling animals face a maximum fine of S$10,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
If found guilty of cruelty to animals, they may be fined up to S$15,000, jailed up to 18 months, or both.