Brownsville, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers encountered a live ball python snake at Veterans' International Bridge. The foot and a half long python was housed in an aquarium in the front seat of a vehicle.
On February 4, a traveler arriving from Mexico declared a live ball python snake (Python regius) to a primary CBP officer. The traveler had the python in an aquarium in the front seat of his vehicle and declared the snake as a pet.
CBP officers referred the vehicle to secondary for further inspection. At secondary the traveler once again declared the ball python to CBP officers. The driver lacked the required entry importation documentation to include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife documentation for the ball python. CBP officers detained the snake and subsequently turned it over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wildlife in any form, including pets, imported into or exported from the United States must be declared on FWS form 3-177, declaration for importation or exportation of fish or wildlife, and cleared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prior to release by CBP.
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.