One Texas Couple Trying to Sell Big Cat at Academy Faces Big Prison Time
What in the name of Joe Exotic have we got going on here? Hey, if you didn't know it's illegal to sell wild animals if you don't have a license to do it in the state of Texas. It doesn't matter if you're in a Dallas, TX parking lot or your own driveway, ya just can't do it.
KHOU is reporting that one Texas couple was arrested near McAllen, TX for attempting to sell a jaguar cub in an Academy parking lot.
"Rafael Gutierrez-Galvan, 29, and his wife, 28-year-old Deyanira Garza sold a margay cub on Aug. 24 for $7,500 at an Alamo Academy Sports and Outdoors parking lot, reports KHOU. "The very next day, they also tried to sell a jaguar cub to the same person. Neither person had a license to buy, sell, trade, or transport exotic animals such as margays and jaguars."
The good news is that both animals have been recovered. If convicted, the couple faces up to five years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.
They will be the first people tried under the The Big Cat Act, which was just enacted last December. "This prohibits the importation, transportation, sale and possession of prohibited wildlife species." If you weren't sure, a jaguar is a prohibited species. You can familiarize yourself with it right here.
The Big Cat Act pertains to these species and hybrids of these species:
- lion (Panthera leo)
- tiger (Panthera tigris)
- leopard (Panthera pardus)
- snow leopard (Uncia uncia)
- clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
- jaguar (Panthera onca)
- cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
- cougar (Puma concolor)