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Cub is a hit in San Diego Zoo


He’s only six weeks old, but he’s making headlines all over, for not only being cute, but by how he ended up in the San Diego Zoo. With a risky way of getting into the United States, this cub ended up landing in good hands and is already a hit at the zoo.

You constantly hear about things getting smuggled into the United States from Mexico, preferably drugs or not even just items, but also people. It almost wouldn’t be news at how many times it has been reported of someone trying to smuggle illegal items into the country. However, you never hear of cute tiger cubs being smuggled into the United States. Just last week, an 18-year-old man tried to sneak in a tiger cub into the United States, detained and now illegal the cub is making headlines again for being a hit at the San Diego Zoo.

He was discovered on the floor of a car at the Otay Mesa Port, being smuggled in by an 18-year-old known as Luis Eudoro Valencia, after US Customs and Border Protection officers began searching his car. He was then taken away, and was brought to the Safari Park on August 23rd. Valencia stated that he was taking the cub home to be a pet, and has been charged in federal court for smuggling attempt.


Source: San Diego Instagram

He was examined at the safari park’s Veterinary hospital and was then transferred to the Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center. He is in good hands, warmed up very quickly, and currently all he wants to do is to play. He is believed to be only six weeks old and he can be seen at the nursery window of the park due to his acclimation of the center. The chances are he will be doing something cute upon seeing him.

Already making a big impression on visitors and staff, the cub unfortunately does not yet have a permanent home, hence why he does not have a name just yet. There is hope that he will be able to stay but the decision will be up to U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials.

Due to six daily feedings, the cub weighs 7.7 pounds, a little more than what he came in at, which was a little over six pounds. “He is teething, so he is chewing on everything he can get ahold of. We have given him enrichment in terms of toys, stuffed animals and chew toys that you would give a puppy.” Autumn Nelson, animal care supervisor for the Safari park’s mammal department stated. “He is practicing his stalking behavior and wrestling. That’s where the stuffed animals come in handy. His favorite is the stuffed giraffe. He climbs on it and cuddles with it.”

Stephanie Valenzuela