The truck driver was pulled over for an additional inspection when he arrived at the San Ysidro border crossing with Mexico on February 25th, the United States’ Customs and Border Protection said.
Agents found 52 live reptiles tied up in small bags “which were concealed in the man’s jacket, pants pockets and groin area”, they said.
The reptiles were found tied up in small bags. Photograph: US Customs and Border Protection via AP
Nine snakes and 43 horned lizards were seized. Some of the species are considered endangered, authorities said.
“Smugglers will try every possible way to try and get their product, or in this case live reptiles, across the border,” said Sidney Aki, Customs and Border Protection director of field operations in San Diego.
He said the alleged smuggler tried “to bring these animals into the US, without taking care for the health and safety of the animals”.
The man, a 30-year-old US citizen, was arrested. – Associated Press