At the U.S.-Mexico border, border guards arrested an American man who hid 43 horned lizards and 9 snakes in plastic bags “without affecting the health of the animals.”
The man, who was arrested in California, was found carrying plastic bags in his jacket, pants pockets and crotch.
The Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported the incident on February 25, when a 30-year-old U.S. citizen drove a truck into the entrance port of San Jacitro (California).
During the driver’s test, CBP agents found several plastic bags containing live animals, which were identified as 43-horned lizards (also known as prunosomas) and nine snakes.
Characterized by a flattened, oval-shaped body and a series of horn-like vertebrates on the sides of their heads, the horned lizards range from southern Canada to Guatemala.
The CBP bulletin did not provide details on the identity of the captured snakes.
“The smugglers are trying almost every method to get their products, in this case reptiles, living across the border,” said Sidney Aki, director of CBP operations in the San Diego area.
“In this case, the kidnapper tried to deceive CBP agents into bringing these animals into the United States regardless of their health and safety,” it added.
The CBP added that the accused kidnapper was being held on trial and that the reptiles were “kept in a safe area and would be isolated as some species have been identified as endangered”.
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