EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized five live parrots from a motorist who it accused of trying to get them past a port of entry hidden in a shoebox.
The seizure took place March 30 after a vehicle with two occupants arrived at the Paso del Norte border crossing from Mexico, CBP reported. The persons inside the vehicle declared they were bringing several medications into the country, so the vehicle was referred to the secondary inspection area of the border crossing. There, CBP officers found a closed shoe box in the rear seat, opened it and found the birds.
Officers seized the parrots and turned them over to U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinary services. There was no word on the status of the driver and his passenger.
“CBP officers working at locations across the southwest border do encounter smuggled birds, reptiles and other wildlife while they are performing their primary homeland security mission,” said CBP El Paso Director of Field Operation Hector Mancha. “Unfortunately, there is a market for these animals but rest assured that the attention to detail exhibited by members of the CBP team will routinely identify these smugglers.”
The seizure is the second time in recent weeks where CBP officers in the El Paso area have encountered live birds.
On March 8, CBP officers working at the Columbus port of entry in southern New Mexico encountered a man attempting to smuggle two parrots from Mexico to the U.S. The birds in that case were also concealed in a shoe box.