Mexican officials are scratching their heads after a tiger cub was discovered in a shipping container.
The two-month-old Bengal tiger was found by Mexican officials on Wednesday inside a padded, plastic container. The little cub was sedated and had no water or food in the newspaper-lined box, according to Inside Edition.
According to authorities the animal, whose species is on the endangered species list, was on its way to Santiago de Queretaro via express mail. The tiger was very dehydrated and was uncovered only after noises were heard coming from its blue container, which was punctured with holes presumably to allow the tiger to breathe. Drug-sniffing dogs helped officials sniff out the container. Fox News reported that the cub had proper documentation, but he was seized by the natural resources department regardless because mailing him through the post is considered to be mistreatment.
Last year, there were several instances of individuals attempting to smuggle Bengal tigers across border lines. In one case, a California teenager was stopped as he was coming back from Mexico when border patrol officers spotted a baby Bengal tiger on the floor of his front seat.
Nabbed at the Otay Mesa border crossing, Luis Eudoro Valencia, 18, was charged with smuggling the animal, whom he said he bought on the streets in Tijuana from someone for the equivalent of about $300.
Valencia’s cub was then taken by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service.
Importing animals such as a tiger cub requires a permit, which Valencia obviously did not have on him.
“The officers at the Otay Mesa port of entry met the challenge head on and assisted in preserving the life of this endangered species,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection in San Diego. The cub was taken into protection by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where he was reported to be doing just fine.