Picture this: You’re comfortably sitting on a plane, lounging, relaxing, possibly even enjoying some complimentary airline snacks, when you see a rat-a white rat. You’ll soon start to wonder, frantically, why there is a rat on a plane? Is it a pet rat? Is it a subway rat? Is it a passenger? Then, in the midst of all these wild questions crowding your thoughts and the sheer anxiety that comes from spotting a wild and unsupervised animal on a plane, you turn around and under your seat you see… a baby otter.
If that sounds like a fever dream, you can rest assured it is not. The rat and the otter were actually spotted on a recent flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Taipei, Taiwan-and they weren’t the only illegally-carried animals aboard. Plus, they were loose, which added to the general chaos of the surreal situation.After passengers spotted the animals mid-flight, crew members of airline VietJet tried to catch them, The Telegraph reports, and one employee was reportedly bit by the large albino rat that was taking a stroll down the plane.
But wait, there’s more. Once the plane landed in Taipei, officials from Taiwan’s animal and plant health inspection agency searched every bag that was on the plane and they found what can only be described as a mini-portable zoo. To their surprise, they found one marmot, two otters, 28 star turtles (28!), and two unidentified rodents.
Apparently, this was all the work of two people, who are now facing a fine up to around $30,000 due to the potential spread of infectious disease through live animals.
But this begs the questions: How was she able to carry all these animals through security in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport? The airport is blaming one of its workers. “We have examined the CCTV and found that the smugglers were two foreigners who had their luggage scanned through an X-ray machine,” the airport said in a statement. “One of the staff was suspicious so they assigned another to open the luggage. However, they didn’t check the luggage and allowed the passengers to go through.”
The staff member in question is now suspended, according to the airport, and Taiwanese authorities said they are investigating the two suspected criminals. To our knowledge, none of the animals were harmed.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.
Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.
You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.
As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.