The Palette

Tiger cub smuggled into the US

Noor Vakili, Staff Writer

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Towards the end of this past summer, San Diego Border Control found an eighteen-week old Bengal Tiger cub under the passenger seat of a car trying to come into the US through the Otay Mesa crossing. The smuggler was twenty-one years old; he is from California and drives a Chevy Camaro. On August 21, 2017, the cub moved from Tijuana to San Diego. Border Patrol officers saw the animal on the floor of the passenger seat in between the legs of an accomplice. The car was brought into another inspection area because there was a problem with the vehicle identification number. The young man told officers that a cat was in the front seat of the car. After being arrested, the driver bailed out with $10,000.

 

After the border control took possession of the cub, someone from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service handed the cub over to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Once the tiger was settled in at the Park, another tiger cub was flown from Washington Zoo. This other infant was a nine-week-old Sumatran tiger cub brought to San Diego as a companion for the smuggled tiger cub. The male Sumatran cub was brought in because his mother began rejecting him. The placement was made for the two animals to obtain critical developmental lessons. There are many species brought over the border into the US, and there are not many laws in place to stop this smuggling. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service provides permits to regulate and document the animals traveling between both countries. Both cubs reside at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and visitors are welcome to see the pair.

 

Sources:

https://wtop.com/latin-america/2017/09/smuggled-bengal-tiger-cub-gets-new-playmate-at-san-diego-zoo/

https://nypost.com/2017/08/24/teen-busted-smuggling-bengal-tiger-cub-he-bought-in-mexico/

 

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Tiger cub smuggled into the US