Horned snakes and lizards in pants: It was the daring way the smuggler chose to try to introduce reptiles into the United States.
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When the man, a 30-year-old American, was intercepted at the end of February at the border with Mexico near San Diego (California), customs officers discovered a total of 52 animals hidden in his person.
It is not clear if it was a suspicious movement under his clothes that caught the attention of customs officers when he arrived at the border, but they asked him to stop for a search.
The smuggler had locked the reptiles–nine snakes and 43 horned lizards–in small plastic bags that he hid “under his jacket, in his pants pockets, and at crotch level,” American Customs explained in a press release. Released on Monday.
“Smugglers are willing to try anything to try to get their produce, or in this case, live reptiles, across the border,” said Sydney Aki, a San Francisco, Diego, customs official.
The animals, some of which belong to endangered species, were placed under observation while the smuggler was arrested.
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