A San Diego teen was sentenced to serve jail time for smuggling a tiger into the US.
The New York Post reports that he received a six-month sentence in prison for bringing a Bengal tiger cub into California from Mexico. The 6-week-old cub was found at a San Diego border checkpoint, reportedly placed on the floor on passenger-side of Valencia’s car in August.
From the Post: The defense attorney for 18-year-old Luis Valencia told the court Tuesday in San Diego before his sentencing that his client had had a lapse in judgment and wanted the endangered tiger as a pet.
But prosecutors argued Valencia’s cellphone data showed he was running an animal smuggling business and boasted about getting thousands of monkeys, jaguars, and lions.
According to The Sacremento Bee, Valencia wrote: “(T)he monkeys I get them for 2500 and the white tigers for 6k, I mean regular tigers, the white one goes for 10k,” reads one text message presented in court. “The jaguar goes for 8k and panthers too and the lions go for 5k.”
The cub was named Moka and was transferred to the care of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.