What should I do if I get back home from a trip and find an unwanted passenger in my bag?

Be sure to not let the unwanted passenger get away


A black bug. By: Schnur
AN UNKNOWN SPECIES. If you get home from a trip and find an unknown species in your luggage, do not let them get away, but ask the Environmental Board or the zoo for advice. By: Schnur


Fortunately, a large animal cannot fit in a suitcase, but some smaller animals, such as a scorpion, gecko, smaller reptile, cockroach, snail, or spider may accidentally hide in a bag and travel to Estonia.


What should I do if I get back home from a trip and find an unwanted passenger in my bag?


If you think the animal that accidentally ended up in your luggage may be venomous (scorpion, spider, snake), call 112. In other cases, call the state helpline at 1247. In both cases, professionals will advise you on how to proceed.


Before calling, however, you can assess whether you can handle the animal brought from abroad as well as you would a domestic one, but be sure not to let the unwanted passenger get away.


Although the possibility that a mistakenly introduced specimen causes a larger problem is small, it does exist. If it were to be a potentially invasive species that manages to survive and reproduce here, you have brought an invasive alien species to Estonia. It can also be venomous, carry a disease, or escape, so you should not keep the unknown animal. Besides, could you take care of them?


What eventually happens to the animal is decided on a case-by-case basis. As it may carry a disease, it must first be quarantined, for example, in a pet shelter or animal clinic. The final stop of the illegal immigrant can be in a museum, a collector’s terrarium, or a zoo.


You should also not bring alien plants or seeds into Estonia accidentally or on purpose, as they can spread into nature and affect the local species balance. If you bring foreign plants into your home garden, care must be taken so they would not spread from the garden to nature.


Further reading:



​​​​​                                                                                                                                           Last modified: 17.01.2022