Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


See The Adorable Tiger Cub Who Was Illegally Trafficked Into California

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

A tiger cub was found lying on the floor of a 2017 Chevy Camaro by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in California, who say that the animal was being illegally trafficked into the United States.

The CBP says that around 1:30 a.m. on August 23, an 18-year-old male driver with U.S. citizenship stopped at the Otay Mesa port of entry with a 21-year-old male passenger and an officer conducting the inspection "referred the car for a further inspection," according to the agency.

The driver was arrested and the tiger cub was taken into the custody of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, who is working with the San Diego Zoo. In 1992, a white Bengal tiger cub that was being smuggled into through the San Ysidro port of entry was found in the back seat of a car; the cub was named later named Blanca and lived at the San Diego Zoo for many years.

"CBP officers are often faced with unusual situations," said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego, in a statement. "The CBP officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry met the challenge head on and assisted in preserving the life of this endangered species."