SINGAPORE: A 24-year-old woman has been fined S$4,000 for illegally importing a sugar glider, said the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) on Wednesday (May 23).
Nur Syahirah Hussein was caught at Woodlands Checkpoint in February. During immigration checks, a live baby sugar glider was found in a red pouch she was carrying.
Sugar gliders - small, omnivorous animals that belong to the marsupial family - are considered exotic wildlife that are not allowed to be imported as pets in Singapore.
In addition to the charge of importing animals without a valid licence, a second of charge of failing to ensure that the animal was not subjected to unnecessary suffering was also taken into consideration, said AVA.
"The introduction of such animals may impact our local biodiversity should the animal be inadvertently released," said AVA.
"More importantly, exotic animals may introduce undesirable animal diseases into Singapore, which could threaten local animal and public health."
AVA reminded travellers not to import live animals, birds and insects illegally.
Anyone found guilty of doing so can be fined up to S$10,000 and jailed for up to a year.