MCALLEN, Texas — Federal authorities seized a massive skull from an endangered elephant that was being wrongfully crossed into Mexico and was then sent back to the U.S.
The seizure took place last week at the Anzalduas International Bridge when a man from Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon drove a truck carrying the skull to the Mexican side of the bridge, information provided to Breitbart Texas by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The international bridge connects the border cities of Mission and McAllen with the Mexican city of Reynosa.
The driver declared the elephant skull to Mexican authorities; however, the man was not able to provide documents or exportation permits. Mexican authorities refused to allow the importation of the elephant skull and had the man return to the U.S. side of the border. CBP officers asked the man about documents or export permits and then seized the skull.
According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the seized skull was identified as being a Loxodonta Africana or a African Bush Elephant, a type of elephant that is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The type of elephant is native to Africa, it remains unclear how the massive skull initially arrived to Texas. Court documents reveal that no arrests were made in connection with the attempted smuggling of the skull nor for the man not being able to have documents proving ownership of the skull.
“Our CBP officers and agriculture specialists partner with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to enforce federal wildlife laws to protect vulnerable and endangered species,” said Port Director Efrain Solis. “CBP and FWS have worked together to combat illegal wildlife trafficking and this inter-agency cooperation is critical to our success.”