Smuggled Cats: Will these rescued cubs still end up as pets? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Smuggled Cats: Will these rescued cubs still end up as pets?

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – The fate of two cubs discovered at the Tijuana airport remains uncertain.

The tiger and black panther female cubs were found by customs officers looking for drugs, and two days later, they are settling in to their temporary home at the Morelos Zoo in Tijuana.

Dr. Roberto Valdez said the cubs are between 20 to 30 days old, but are healthy despite having been shipped more than 1,500 miles from Mexico City in two small wooden crates.

According to Dr. Valdez, around 70-percent of the Morelos Zoo’s animals were confiscated by authorities and some were brought in by people who did not have the adequate conditions at home to look after the animals.

Carmen Villareal is an animal activist who said she is one of many people fighting to stop the illegal sale and trafficking of exotic animals – especially along the U.S., Mexico border, a major thoroughfare.

Just last summer, authorities captured an 18-year-old man trying to smuggle a tiger cub into the U.S.

The cub was later named Moka and was a welcomed addition to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Where the tiger and black panther cub end up remains unknown. Zoo leaders said depending on the results of the investigation, the cubs could still end up with whoever they were being mailed to.

Dr. Valdez also said most cubs needs to stay with their mother for at least two months and removing them early can be harmful to their health.

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