An orphaned 11 month old cougar cub plays at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on April 26, 2007 in Vallejo, California. David Paul Morris/Getty Images

A man traveling through Las Vegas ran into an unusual interruption Tuesday night, as a Transportation Security Administration agent discovered a dead cougar during a security check at McCarran International Airport. The deceased big cat was tucked away in the unidentified man’s luggage, whose name and destination were not disclosed by authorities, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Metropolitan Police Lt. David Gordon told the Review-Journal that there was actually nothing illegal about the incident. The cougar had a Utah State Fish and Game tag on it, meaning the man legally hunted and killed the animal. Though the TSA agents had to hold the man at the airport until the tag was verified, it is fully legal to travel through the air with tagged game.

That said, Gordon reminded the Review-Journal that airlines can refuse to ship any items they want. That is what ended up happening to the traveler, who ultimately shipped the cougar to his home, and not on the airplane.

Cougars have an incredibly wide range of population distribution across North and South America, according to the International Society for Endangered Cats. According to their website, the big cats are hunted frequently.

“As one of the top predators in the food chain, the Cougar has been persecuted unmercifully by man. A combination of guns, poisons, snares, traps, and hunting dogs have been used in this persecution, often under the guise of government sanctioned predator control (bounty) programs. Farmers and ranchers have had a running feud with these cats for decades, and land use and stock management practices must be changed before this situation can be improved.”

The species is legally protected in Utah, but a limited amount of cougar hunting is permitted by the state every year, according to The big cats are distributed across the entire state and can be found anywhere they can hunt deer.