Officials are trying to find out why Isaac the cheetah’s chip, which is used to individually identify each and every animal so as to combat the trade in illegal exotic animals, was missing. 

Marc Owen, head of UKBA operations at Heathrow Marc Owen said “The illicit trade in animals is a serious contributory factor in the threat of extinction faced by many endangered species.

“Each animal has to be clearly identifiable by a unique marking, for instance a microchip, to ensure they can be tracked and traced, and to prevent them being sold illegally.”

It is not known whether the missing chip is a the result of an error or otherwise. Isaac arrived in the UK on December 22 from South Africa en route to Russia.

Photo: Getty