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25 August 2017

Teenager caught smuggling tiger cub into US from Mexico

The tiger cup pictured in the arms of a border officialImage copyright
US Customs and Border Protection

Image caption

The tiger cub was handed over to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park who are taking care of it

A Californian teenager has been arrested after he tried to smuggle a Bengal tiger cub across the US border from Mexico.

Luis Eudoro Valencia, 18, was charged with smuggling the animal into the US after officials found it lying on the floor of his vehicle.

He was caught at the Otay Mesa border crossing in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Agents from the US Fish & Wildlife Service took custody of the animal.

Image copyright
US Customs and Border Protection

Image caption

The teenager says he bought the cub for $300

The teenager says he bought the cub for $300 (£234) from someone who was walking an adult tiger along the streets of Tijuana in Mexico.

Pete Flores, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection in San Diego, said: “CBP officers are often faced with unusual situations.

“The officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry met the challenge head on and assisted in preserving the life of this endangered species.”

All species of tigers are protected under the Endangered Species Act – and importing an endangered species into the United States requires a permit.

The animal has been handed to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park where it is being cared for.

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