U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers confiscated an elephant skull last Wednesday at the Anzalduas International Bridge in Mission, Texas, after a Mexican national tried to drive the skull from the U.S. into Mexico on the flatbed of his pickup truck.
The man, who was from Guadalupe in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico, was turned back by Mexican officials, who refused to allow the skull through without documentation, according to the Laredo Morning Times.
CBO agents and specialists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confiscated the skull when the man failed to provide permits and appropriate documentation of ownership.
U.S. and international law requires specific exportation documentation for protected species, the McAllen,Texas, Monitor reported.
The skull belongs to an African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), a species that is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.