SAN DIEGO — A driver was detained at the San Ysidro Port of Entry after attempting to smuggle 13 live yellow-headed parrots, authorities said.
The seizure occurred June 16 when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers searched a 2010 sedan driven by a 26-year-old man applying for entry into the U.S. from Mexico, border officials said.
During the inspection, CBP agriculture specialists found 13 yellow-headed parrots hidden in two duffel bags in the trunk of the vehicle, according to CBP.
“CBP enforces hundreds of laws at the border for more than 40 different government agencies, in order to help stop smuggling attempts like these which can lead to trafficking of possibly endangered species,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “Smugglers attempt to deceive CBP officers with no consideration for the health and safety of the animals; CBP aims to continuously enforce USDA and CDC guidelines.”
Border officers detained the driver and turned him over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigators and Fish and Wildlife Services for further processing, per CBP. The parrots were taken to a secure and safe area, where they will remain under quarantine by U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services to ensure that no avian diseases are affecting the birds.