NewsWildlife Trafficking

US CBP officers disrupt suspected wildlife smuggling attempt at Otay Mesa Port of Entry

US CBP officers at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry discovered 5 parrots concealed in the truck bed of a vehicle.

On April 30, at approximately 6:00 p.m., CBP officers conducting pre-primary operations encountered a 36-year-old woman driving a 2007 pick-up truck applying for admission into the United States from Mexico.

A CBP officer conducted a cursory inspection of the truck and discovered live birds concealed within the middle gap of two stacked 5-gallon buckets located in the truck bed. CBP officers radioed for assistance and referred the driver and vehicle for further inspection.

In the secondary inspection area, CBP officers uncovered a total of 5 live parrots.

Event photo; description located in caption.
Two of five parrots discovered by CBP officers after referring a suspicious vehicle to the secondary inspection area at the Otay Mesa Port of Enrty. 

“The illegal engagement of animal trafficking has harmful impacts to wildlife and may result in civil fines and criminal prosecution,” said Rosa E. Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa and Tecate Ports of Entry. “We will continue to collaborate with Fish and Wildlife Service to uphold the laws that protect our wildlife.”

CBP officers detained the driver for the suspected smuggling attempt and turned her over to Homeland Security Investigations and Fish and Wildlife Services for further investigation.

The parrots were placed in a secure and safe area where they will remain under quarantine by USDA Veterinary Services to ensure they are not affected by avian disease.