An 18-year-old man was in federal custody today for allegedly trying to illegally transport a tiger cub into the United States from Mexico through Otay Mesa Port of Entry, authorities reported.
The teen drove into the border station in a 2017 Chevrolet Camaro from Tijuana about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection public affairs.
Officers inspecting the car discovered the exotic animal lying on the front passenger-side floor, officials said. They removed it, put it in an animal crate and notified the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which sent out agents to take custody of the cub.The driver, a U.S. citizen, was arrested and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego to await arraignment on trafficking charges. His name was not released.
Fish & Wildlife Service officials were working with San Diego Zoo Global to determine how best to care for the tiger, authorities said.
About 20 years ago, customs agents working at San Ysidro Port of Entry intercepted an attempt to smuggle a tiger cub out of California and into Mexico. The animal, christened Blanca, wound up living out its days at San Diego Safari Park, CBP officials said.
Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection