An unmarked wooden box only 16 inches tall sat at the Beirut Airport in Lebanon for a week before being opened – and folks were shocked to find out three endangered Siberian Tiger cubs inside. Desiccated and starved, they were covered in urine and faeces, their bodies pest-ridden with hundreds of maggots. “Nothing specified that the box contained Tigers or even live animals, and there were no details of a shipper or receiver,” rescue group Animals Lebanon (AL) wrote.

Turned out, the cubs were travelling from the Nikolaev Zoo in Ukraine to the Samer al-Husainawi Zoo in Damascus, Syria when they got stuck in Lebanon.

This horrifying scene folks witnessed when they opened the box exposed just how badly exotic animals are sometimes being treated. AL made a plea to seize the Tigers from their original owner disagreeing this was a case of cruelty against animals. Now the cubs are safe and sound and getting stronger every day.

“Big cats can be worth tens of thousands of dollars on the black market. The possessor is fighting to get them back,” AL wrote. “And we are fighting for the Tigers.”

Animals Lebanon was contacted who explained that while being stuck at the airport, the Tiger cubs did get visited by a representative of the importing zoo for around 15 minutes each day before being saved. While the Tiger babies are getting stronger every day, their future is unknown. There’s a chance they could be given back to the legal owner and possibly end up on the black market, but Animals Lebanon is doing everything for that not to happen. To support their case, visit the website below.

An unmarked wooden box was left at the Beirut Airport in Lebanon for a week before being opened…

via Animals Lebanon

Image credits: Animals Lebanon

And folks were shocked to find three endangered Siberian Tiger cubs inside

via Animals Lebanon