A teen from California was arrested while trying to bring into the United States, a Bengal tiger cub he bought for $300 on Tijuana. Luis Eudor Valencia tried to smuggle the tiger cub in his 2017 Chevy Camaro.
The California teenager was charged with illegal carriage of a Bengal tiger into the U.S after U.S Customs and Border Protection personnel found the cub on the floor of the passenger cabin of his car when they were inspecting about 1:30 a.m. at the Otay Mesa boundary crossing on Wednesday.
The director of field operations for the custom body, Pete Flores, said the officials of CBP often encounter unusual situations.
Luis claims to have bought a tiger from an unknown man
Luis, the U.S citizen, claims that he bought the tiger cub for $300 from a person who was walking a big tiger on a cord in Tijuana. This was disclosed in a court statement. The Mexican authorities in Tijuana have seized several Bengal tigers this year.
The tiger was taken by the U.S Fish & Wildlife officials to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to cater for it.
Similar cases of having Bengal tigers in possession
It could be recalled in January, the authorities of Mexico confiscated a Bengal tiger in Tijuana following a report by a resident, of a man who was walking a tiger on dog strap in the vicinity. According to officials, the 4-month old tiger had been growing in a private house where children are available.
The Mexican officials in April also seized a 9month old Bengal tiger. The tiger in Tijuana was captured after it fell into a neighbor’s yard from a terrace on a third floor. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the tiger appeared to be in good health, despite the high distance fall.
A law was passed in 2015, prohibiting the possession of exotic animals, since then, Mexican circuses have bent on getting rid of such acts. It’s apparent that the Mexican drug lords often have their pets as big cats.
To import an endangered species into the U.S, there the need for a permit that would be issued by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service, as well a declaration with the agency. The Endangered Species Act protects all forms of tigers.
According to prosecutors, the 18-year-old boy from Perris lacked both permits. He was released on a $10,000 and mandated to reappear from a primary hearing on September 5 in San Diego’s federal court. He may face a whole 20 years in prison if he gets convicted.