Police have extended bail for the fourth time for the suspects involved in the alleged smuggling of an exotic pet known as a “sugar glider” into Cayman.
“The suspects’ bail has been extended until Oct. 4 and no charges have been filed as yet,” Collector of Customs Charles Clifford confirmed Wednesday.
According to earlier reports in the Cayman Compass, bail was granted shortly after the initial arrest in June, then again in July, August and now this month.
The 31-year-old man and the 26-year-old woman who were arrested and bailed after the animal got loose on board a Cayman Airways plane. The man who was arrested was earlier identified as Jimel McLean, son of East End MLA Arden McLean.
After the June arrest, a follow-up search at a Grand Cayman property by Customs and Royal Cayman Islands Police officers found a number of other animals not endemic to the islands, including snakes and a lizard.
A sugar glider is a small marsupial, in the same family as the kangaroo and the koala, with web-like membranes that stretch back from its paws, allowing it to glide (but not fly) through the air.
The six-inch marsupial is endemic to Australia and the southwest Pacific. It is sometimes owned as a pet.
It is illegal under the Cayman Islands Animals Law for any animal to be imported without a valid import permit issued by the Department of Agriculture.