Once, about 6 years ago, a small wooden box suddenly disappeared on the premises of Beirut Airport (Lebanon). The situation was mysterious, as the box lacked any identifying marks or paperwork. In fact, the cargo was physically present, but it didn’t exist on paper. Naturally, in such circumstances, the box remained untouched for a week.
When the situation was resolved and the box was opened, an astonishing content was revealed:
Inside were young Amur tiger cubs (also known as Siberian tigers). They had been sent from a country that, for some reasons, should not be mentioned. The senders of the cubs had mishandled the paperwork and hadn’t prepared the animals for travel. The local authorities at Beirut Airport, faced with this «undocumented» cargo, decided not to take any risks and left the box untouched until the situation was clarified.
Being confined in such a limited space for a week was a true ordeal for the tiger cubs, and their rescue was nothing short of a miracle. The condition of the animals when they were discovered was dire.
Later, it became clear that the tiger cubs had been illegally acquired on the black market. Due to the scandal and criminal investigation, both the sellers and buyers disappeared. The cubs were placed under the care of an animal protection organization. Despite the seizure of the cargo, animal activists insisted on transferring the cubs to a sanctuary, as it was evident that their previous owners were unreliable.
The three tiger cubs were named Tanya, Mei, and Anton. Their future was uncertain. There were speculations that they might have been sent to a zoo in Syria, left in Lebanon, or even sent back to their country of origin. Animal activists were against sending them back or to Syria due to the ongoing conflicts there. Most likely, the cubs remained in Lebanon, as if they had been sent elsewhere, it would have been widely known due to the online activism of animal advocates.