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Undocumented Hitchhiker Lands in Houston Zoo

Release Date: 
September 16, 2011

Houston -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists are accustomed to intercepting hitchhiking pests arriving in shipping containers from different parts of the world; however, it is not often that the intercepted specimen ends up at a local zoo.

The tree frog, identified as a Savigny's Tree Frog, was accepted by the Houston Zoo.

CBP agriculture specialists working at the Port of Houston's Bayport Terminal September 16 discovered a tree frog sitting on a pallet of imported stone. The frog was captured and delivered to U.S. Fish and Wildlife specialists who tentatively identified the specimen as a Middle Eastern Tree Frog.

The tree frog was identified as a Savigny's Tree Frog and was accepted by the Houston Zoo. According to a herpetologist at the zoo, the Houston Zoo will be the only U.S. zoo with this species of tree frog in residence.

"Making a contribution to our zoo is not a routine occurrence," said Houston CBP's Director of Field Operations Jeffrey O. Baldwin Sr. "This interception is the latest example of the diligence our agriculture specialists exhibit as they conduct exams and accomplish their duties on a daily basis. Their discovery will now become available for the community to enjoy."

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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017