Customs officials at the Chennai international airport seized a number of reptiles, including a horned pit viper, from a passenger who had arrived from Bangkok.
Mohammad Abdul Majeed, a 22-year-old student from Chennai, was also found carrying two rhinocerous iguanas (a threatened species of lizard), 22 Egyptian tortoises (a critically endangered species), and some blue-tongued skunks and green tree frogs.
The viper is a venomous snake from Africa and no anti-venom is available for it yet in India. According to The Hindu, the officials were screening passengers based on intelligence and suspected that he was carrying banned substances. The animals were found inside plastic containers in his bag.
Majeed said he had to hand over the animals to a person waiting for him outside the airport. He was detained, while the animals will reportedly be sent back to Bangkok. The incident comes after officials had found a passenger trying to smuggle a leopard cub from Bangkok in February.