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Cosmo&Nanu

Easily Spotted

An animal trafficker trying to smuggle a leopard into Russia in a van was caught when he presented police with vet's documents claiming it was a dog.

Astonished police - who'd stopped the vehicle for a routine search after it crossed the border from Belarus - discovered the fully grown big cat in a cage covered in blankets when it began to snarl at them.

"When searching the car, a cage with a live leopard covered in blankets was discovered.

"The van had three men, none of whom had any documents for the animal. All they had were veterinary papers for a dog," said a spokesman for Smolensk police.

One of the men claimed to have bought the leopard in 1993 and after training it, had toured Europe performing in roadside shows.

"The leopard was seized and placed in veterinary care and if the owner can produce proper papers in five days he can have it back," said the police spokesman.

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