Officials Make Largest Mounted Wildlife Seizure Ever At LA Port Complex
CARSON (CBSLA.com) — Seven boxes of mounted wildlife, antlers and horns were seized last month at the Los Angeles-Long Beach seaport complex before they could be exported, authorities said Wednesday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials estimated the menagerie of items seized on July 23 – which included full mounts of a baboon, a bear skull, shoulder mounts of three deer, a wildebeest, a zebra, an African antelope, and an African gazelle – has a total value of about $8,875.
Six pairs of deer antlers, a pair of kudu horns, a pair of impala horns, two smallmouth bass full mounts and an alligator gar fish head mount were also confiscated, according to CBP spokeswoman Lee Harty.
KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports upon inspection of the outbound container – which authorities say was headed for the Philippines in a consolidated shipment – officials found seven boxes with the phrase “animal heads” written in capital letters in red ink.
None of the mounts were declared to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or had any required export permits, according to Harty. The bear skull, full mounts of a baboon, lynx with a bird, and bobcat are also protected under international conventions and required an additional export permit.
“This is the largest and has the most assortment of wildlife that CBP at the LA/LB seaport has seized,” said Todd Owen, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles.
Authorities say the violator was an unidentified 44-year-old citizen of the Philippines who was visiting the U.S. on vacation for the first time together with his wife and two children. They rented a minivan in Los Angeles and purchased most of the trophy mounts from a liquidator in Texas while touring parts of the U.S., according to Harty.
The seized items will be forfeited and turned over to U.S. Fish and Game for distribution to museums or colleges around the country.
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