Meanwhile at the Border: Man Arrested With 52 Reptiles Poorly Hidden Under His Clothes, It’s Always the Quiet Ones

It’s tough to say what’s stranger: the kinds of things forbidden from crossing the borders between countries or the kinds of shit people try to sneak by customs. One man who was recently apprehended at the San Diego-Mexico border definitely makes us lean more towards the latter.

On Friday, Feb. 25 around 3 a.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a 30-year-old United States citizen who had hidden 43 horned lizards and nine snakes in plastic bags under his clothes. He was apparently trying to drive into the U.S. from Mexico.

The man was booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center and the live reptiles were transported to a “secure and safe area,” the agency said. Some of the creatures were endangered, and therefore will be quarantined.

Aside from being mind-bogglingly odd (what did this dude plan to do with all those reptiles? Sell them? Eat them? Start a petting zoo?), “bringing creatures that aren’t native to the U.S. over the border can hurt the economy,” an NPR news report stated. “One pest could prompt millions of dollars in damages to U.S. agriculture.”

But that doesn’t seem to stop travelers from trying to bring a piece of nature back home with them. In 2019 alone, a coordinated effort by the World Customs Organization and Interpol resulted in almost 2,000 animals and plants being seized across 109 countries.

Next time you want a little something to remember your vacation by, try a seashell or a stupid T-shirt. They’re much easier to travel with.

Cover Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection



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