Texas

They ditched a duffel bag at Texas border — with a tiger cub clinging to life inside, authorities say

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Brownsville, Texas rescued an unconscious tiger cub left in a duffel bag near the U.S.-Mexico border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Brownsville, Texas rescued an unconscious tiger cub left in a duffel bag near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Three people trying to enter the U.S. illegally at the Texas border Monday abandoned a tiger cub they left unconscious inside a duffel bag, according to authorities.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Irma Chapa tweeted three photos of the tiger cub and the efforts of agents in Brownsville, Texas to save the little guy.

The Brownsville agents were working near the Rio Grande River when they noticed the three people leave a black duffel bag behind as they turned around and returned to Mexico, according to a CBP news release.

The three-to-four month old cub found inside was turned over to the nearby Gladys Porter Zoo, which is about 3 miles north of the U.S. Port of Entry in Brownsville. Border patrol agent Robert Rodriguez told KVIA that the tiger appeared calm while in the bag and during its transport, and may have been sedated.

Monday night, at about 7:45 , Chapa tweeted an update to the tiger cub's story. He was awake and alert, and expected to make a full recovery.

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A tiger cub was taken to Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas Monday after it was found unconscious in a duffel bag near the Rio Grande River, left behind by three apparentl smugglers. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

But that wasn't the only exotic wildlife CBP agents encountered in Brownsville on Monday. A large Rio Grande-dwelling alligator took up residence on a CBP boat ramp for part of the morning as well, according to the release.

Tieger cubs at U.S.-Mexico border crossings are not unprecedented, though. In August 2017, Luis Eduardo Valencia, 18, got caught with one riding shotgun in his Camaro at the Port of Entry in San Ysidro, Calif. He was sent to prison for the illegal import of tigers.

CBP officials announced a Tuesday news conference to update the status of the tiger cub, which starts at 2 p.m. CST.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection found this furry contraband—a 6-week-old Bengal tiger—at the Otay Mesa border crossing from Mexico on August 23, 2017. An 18-year-old U.S. citizen was arrested on smuggling charges.

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