BROWNSVILLE–U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered a shipment of live snakes and lizards at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge on Thursday.
The snakes and lizards were seized by CBP officers enforcing federal law on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A traveler arriving from Mexico declared the shipment of live snakes and lizards to a CBP officer at primary inspection. In secondary, CBP officers examined the shipment and found 52 live snakes and live lizards, each in its own container.
The shipment lacked the required commercial entry documentation, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) wildlife importation documentation.
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.
“This shipment of live snakes and lizards is one of the strangest seizures at the B&M Bridge in a long while,” said Michael T. Freeman, port director at the CBP port of Brownsville . “CBP enforces hundreds of laws and we work together with federal, state and local agencies in a continued effort to protect our country.”
CBP officers working side-by-side with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seized the live snakes and lizards. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service turned the snakes and lizards over to the Brownsville Gladys Porter Zoo.
–South Texas Tribune, firstname.lastname@example.org
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