This Saturday afternoon, agents of the National Guard (GN) seized an African lion cub, an endangered species, at the Ciudad Juárez International Airport, Chihuahua (Mexico).
The package came from Guadalajara, Jalisco and had a connecting flight in Mexico City and its final destination was Ciudad Juárez.
“Protecting life is the mission. At the Ciudad Juárez International Airport #Chihuahua, we protect an African lion cub transported without legal documentation for possession. The specimen was delivered to the corresponding authorities for its care and attention”, published the GN on its social networks, along with images of the feline.
Through a statement, the GN reported that in the parcel part of the airport, officers found a wooden box with holes that appeared to be used for ventilation. When they opened it, they realized that it was the little lioness.
The authorities proceeded to review the documents that were attached to the top of the box. However, this did not have the data to justify the legal origin of the animal.
Upon realizing this, the agents requested the presence of personnel from the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa). They would be in charge of protecting the specimen, which is considered an endangered species and protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
When inspecting the puppy through scanner readers, they realized that the feline does not have an identification microchip that proves its legal origin. For this reason, the GN notified the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) to continue with the corresponding investigations.
For its part, the cub was under the protection of Profepa and was transferred to the San Jorge Zoo for a medical check-up, care and stay.
Last year there was a increased trafficking of exotic species and wildlife in Mexico City.
In 2020, in just three operations, Profepa insured more than 33,000 animals, according to Ernesto Zazueta, president of the Association of Zoos, Hatcheries and Aquariums of Mexico (Azcarm). In 2019, more than 5,000 specimens were seized.
The most important operation of the year was the one carried out in November in two properties of the Iztapalapa mayor’s office, where they seized more than 15,000 specimens of wild fauna, 11,000 of which are classified as protected species, according to an official statement from Profepa.
“Among the insured animals were tortoises and casquito, dragons, crocodiles, macaws, toucans, yellow-headed parakeet and Gila monster, species protected by the Official Mexican Standard NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010,” said the press release.
They also arrested on November 20 a man who was traveling on a scooter with CDMX plates. He was carrying an alligator and a boa constrictor in a bucket.
On November 3, another man was arrested at the Morelos Metro station for taking with him a collection of exotic animals in five boxes, including three African hedgehogs, two Dutch rabbits and four Andean chinchillas.
Profepa also stated in September that continues to search for a woman who was seen walking a Bengal tiger cub through a busy shopping center in the capital.