SINGAPORE - A man was caught trying to smuggle two hedgehogs into Singapore last Saturday (Aug 31).
Officers from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) found the hedgehogs wrapped in a camouflage net and hidden in the spare tyre compartment of a Singapore-registered car at Woodlands Checkpoint.
The 42-year-old driver was referred to the National Parks Board for further investigation, ICA said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
The hedgehogs are now under the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
ICA added: "Animals like hedgehogs are not suitable as pets as they may transmit zoonotic diseases to humans and can be a public safety risk if mishandled or if they escape.
"These non-native animals may also pose a threat to local biodiversity if released into the environment."
It is an offence to import animals or birds into Singapore without a licence.
Anyone found guilty of smuggling animals can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to one year, or both.
If anyone is found guilty of being cruel to animals, they can be fined up to $15,000, jailed for up to 18 months, or both.
ICA also said that the method used to conceal the hedgehogs in last Saturday's case was a cause for concern because similar methods could be used by people with ill intent to smuggle items into Singapore.