Exotic bird discovered during human smuggling attempt in Texas, officials say

Border Patrol agents found a toucan in human smuggling operation

Border Patrol agents found a toucan in human smuggling operation (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

BROWNSVILLE, TX – U.S. Border Patrol announced Monday that they seized an exotic bird while taking a group of people illegally smuggled across the board into custody.

According to a press release by Customs and Border Protection, Fort Brown agents responded to a possible incursion along the U.S. riverbank on Saturday.

“As agents arrived to the location, they discovered evidence of several of people who entered the country illegally,” CBP said in a statement. “Agents tracked the group and apprehended seven illegal aliens from the countries of Mexico and Guatemala. Additionally, agents noticed a plastic bag carried by one of the aliens with a live bird inside.”

After agents inspected the bag they determined the bird to be a toucan. According to CBP the bird was turned over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Service after it was evaluated by a veterinarian.

CBP officials stated that while it is uncommon for exotic animals to be discovered in human smuggling attempts, agents rescued a tiger cub stuffed in a duffel bag near Brownsville two years ago.

Related: CBP: Agents at World Trade Bridge in Laredo seize over $11 million in narcotics

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.