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Tragic End for Smuggled Lioness

A 50-kilogram lioness has died after its owner tried to transport it from Moscow to Yekaterinburg on a passenger train.

Officers were dispatched to the train after the nine-month-old animal — registered as a domestic cat on its travel documents — was reported to have been acting nervously, the Urals transportation department said in a statement.

It soon became obvious that the owner was not in complete control of the situation and the animal was temporarily sedated and confined, the statement added.

The lioness was later discovered dead, with preliminary data suggesting she had suffocated to death after the container's air hole became blocked, RIA Novosti reported, citing a local interior affairs spokesman.

An investigation would be carried out to determine how the lioness was able to travel on the train in the first place, the Urals transportation department said in its statement.

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