The bird, goat, zebra, bobcat, antelope and three deers would be a snap, the new Planet of the Apes movies have informed my recognition of the baboon, but I'm unsure if I would know a lynx, wildebeest and African gazelle if they were approaching me on the street. By the way, stuffed and/or mounted versions of all these animals and more wildlife items bound for export were recently seized at the Los Angeles-Long Beach seaport complex, U.S. Customs and Border officials announced Wednesday.
It was most likely the seven boxes containing the booty had "animal heads" written on them that prompted port inspectors to take a closer look on July 23. Officials estimate the collection--which also included a bear skull and an assortment of antlers--was worth about $9,000.
"This is the largest shipment of its kind in the port in over 30 years," said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Section Chief Javier Larios during the morning news conference.
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A 44-year-old man from the Philippines was touring the U.S. and got carried away at a Texas liquidator, according to a statement from Lee Harty, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman.
The fellow did not realize he needed export permits for all the items and an additional permit under an international endangered species convention for the stuffed, full-bodied lynx, baboon and bobcat.
Live and learn.