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CBP Agriculture Specialists at Anzalduas International Bridge Seize an Elephant Skull

Release Date: 
June 27, 2016

ANZALDUAS, Texas –Agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry have intercepted and seized an elephant skull that lacked proper ownership and exportation documentation, as required under U.S. and international law.

“Our CBP officers and agriculture specialists partner with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to enforce federal wildlife laws that protect vulnerable and endangered species,” said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/ Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “CBP and FWS have worked together to combat illegal wildlife trafficking, and this inter-agency cooperation is critical to our success.”

An elephant skull, Loxodonta africana, was seized by CBP agriculture specialists at Anzalduas International Bridge after the driver could not provide documentation of ownership or required FWS permits for lawful export
An elephant skull, Loxodonta africana,
was seized by CBP agriculture specialists
at Anzalduas Bridge after the driver could
not produce documentation of ownership
or required FWS permits for lawful
export of the skull.

On June 22, a CBP officer referred a truck to secondary after the driver, from Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, Mexico declared an elephant skull. The driver had been directed back to the U.S. after Mexico did not allow the importation of the skull. The man could not produce any documentation of ownership or the required FWS permits to authorize lawful exportation of the elephant skull, in the first instance.

The elephant skull was seized and turned over to the FWS as the elephant, Loxodonta africana, is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017