LOS ANGELES—It was a weird wildlife week for U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) in Los Angeles. In just four days, from May 6 through May 10, CBP officers intercepted and seized nearly half a pound of elephant meat and a dead primate at the International Mail Facility. They also seized 387 snake, lizard and crocodile skin handbags from a passenger arriving from Nigeria at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
On May 10, declared as a gift, the prohibited, dead (Macaque) primate from Indonesia, addressed to North Port, Florida was seized.
On May 9, the elephant meat, an endangered Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), protected wildlife species from Thailand and destined to Fresno, California was seized.
On May 6, the declared purses, made of prohibited reptile and CITES protected animal skins including 98 of African rock pythons, 19 of monitor lizards, 85 of dwarf crocodiles as well as 179 of cobras and 6 of puff adder snakes, were found during a baggage inspection of a 31-year-old male passenger.
All seized items were turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
"CBP enforces over 400 laws of 40 different agencies such as FWS. We intercept and seize a multitude of remarkable items," said Todd C. Owen, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles.
Please direct FWS inquiries to Special Agent-in-Charge Jill Birchell at (916) 414-6660.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.