updated 7/31/2009 12:39:25 PM ET 2009-07-31T16:39:25

An official at Cairo airport says a foot-long baby crocodile wriggled out of a passenger's hand luggage and caused panic on a flight from the United Arab Emirates.

A crew member on the EgyptAir flight from Abu Dhabi rounded up the wayward reptile and calmed passengers. The airport security official says the animal was seized and given to the Cairo Zoo.

Transporting exotic animals in and out of the Egypt is illegal, and none of the passengers on Friday's flight claimed ownership of the baby croc.

The airport official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

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