Teen handed six months in prison for smuggling Bengal tiger cub into US
The cub was found in the 18-year-old’s car.
A teenager from California has been sentenced to six months in prison for smuggling in a Bengal tiger cub from Mexico.
Ahead of the sentencing on Tuesday, the defence barrister for 18-year-old Luis Valencia told a court in San Diego that his client had had a lapse in judgement and wanted the endangered tiger as a pet.
But prosecutors argued Valencia’s mobile phone data showed he was running an animal smuggling business and boasted about getting thousands for monkeys, jaguars and lions.
The six-week-old cub was found on the passenger-side floor in Valencia’s car in August at a San Diego border checkpoint.
Tigers are endangered and it is illegal to import them without a permit.
The tiger cub was named Moka and now lives at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.