A male tiger cub, barely four months old, was found in a black travel bag, unconscious, abandoned on the border between the United States of America and Mexico. This is the terrible discovery made by US security agents at the end of April.
Victim of trafficking
According to a statement issued by the authorities in charge of security at the US border, the young wildcat was unconscious at the time of discovery, having been transported by two unidentified individuals. When the two poachers realized that security agents were about to find them, they fled to Mexico, leaving the bag containing the wild animal behind them.
The small tiger, only four months old, was placed in the hands of Brownsville's Gladys Porter Zoo, which specializes in endangered species.
The tiger is safe
According to elements unveiled by the veterinary services of the zoo, it seems that the tiger is in good health, despite its terrible misadventure, and is gradually regaining strength.
Unfortunately, the story of this tiger is far from an isolated case. It's not uncommon for smugglers to try to smuggle exotic animals across the border between the US and Mexico.
A juicy market
Wildlife trafficking is the third most lucrative trafficking method in the world, behind drugs and arms; so much so that it isn't uncommon to see some Mexican cartel bosses in their vast properties with wild animals like tigers or lions.
Even worse, the US represents a booming market for trafficking in protected animal species. That means, this illegal market could represent between 7 and 23 billion dollars, just on US soil.
Between 2005 and 2014, the US customs authorities recovered no less than 50,000 animals illegally transported; of these, one quarter came from Latin America. Against their will, wild animals are transported along the same road as firearms and drugs.