A Californian teenager was arrested, on Wednesday, after he tried to smuggle a Bengal tiger cub across the US border from Mexico.
Luis Eudoro Valencia, 18, was charged with smuggling the animal into the US after officials at the Otay Mesa border, found it lying on the floor of his vehicle.
The teenager said he bought the cub for $300 (£234) from someone who was walking an adult tiger along the streets of Tijuana in Mexico.
Pete Flores, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection in San Diego, said: “CBP officers are often faced with unusual situations.
“The officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry met the challenge head on and assisted in preserving the life of this endangered species.”
All species of tigers are protected under the Endangered Species Act – and importing an endangered species into the United States requires a permit.
Agents from the US Fish & Wildlife Service took custody of the animal and handed it over to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park where it is being cared for.