Relocating Animals…The Wrong Way!

Pet Relocation

We all love our cuddly (or not so cuddly) animal companions, with an estimated 51 million of us owning a pet in the UK, it seems natural that we would take our ‘animal-family’ with us when we relocate. Brits are animal lovers with our most popular pets being dogs and cats – which frequently travel internationally with their owners.

Exotic Animals

However there are a wide range of more exotic critters which historically, have not travelled so well! The below lists several examples of sorry situations experienced by unfortunate animal-travellers and their hapless owners; who have used unconventional methods to transport creatures via air travel.


One foolish lady found out the hard way that monkeys don’t travel well, when she pretended to be pregnant to conceal a drugged Rhesus monkey that she wanted to sneak into the US. The FBI got wind of this and she was sentenced to 60 days in prison with a three-year suspended sentence.


Those of us who have been watching ‘I’m a Celebrity’ this year are probably not going to be smuggling snakes anytime soon…However, back in 2005 Stockholm Airport officials noticed a woman acting strangely, frantically scratching her chest only to reveal 75 wriggling baby snakes!


Most of us could not fathom a need for taking spiders abroad, but this was not the case for a gentleman who decided to hide 1000 spiders in his luggage when travelling from Brazil to the UK, ending up with a hefty fine and possible jail time. Luckily, no one picked up his suitcase by mistake!


Sadly, birds are often smuggled for illegal trade. In 2015, 24 endangered cockatoos were rescued when they had been cruelly stuffed into water bottles for transport. Parrots are also a prime victim; this year 353 were attempted to be smuggled at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.


One gentleman who had taken a fancy to several wild tortoises whilst on holiday decided to keep 7 of these animals in his hotel room. He was foiled when he attempted to sneak them back to the UK in his suitcase with the intention of keeping them as pets.

Leave it to the professionals…

It is clear from these examples that the transportation of exotic animals should be left to animal relocation specialists who have the skills and knowledge to ensure these creatures can be relocated as comfortably as possible, in line with all relevant animal welfare standards.

Pet Relocation Specialists

There are also specialist pet relocation service providers which are focused on the safe relocation of anything from bunnies to horses – ensuring your pets receive the very best customer service on their journey. For more information on relocating your pet, check out our blog; ‘Moving home with your pets? Give this a read!’

Written by Sofie Finemore – Global Recruitment Resourcer – Global Mobility & Expatriate Services at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions.