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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / AND FINALLY . . .

A Tiger's Meow Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

July 18, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

From a dog kennel in the trunk of a car stopped after a high-speed chase, Mexican police heard something unexpected: the soft meow of an endangered Siberian tiger cub.

Police stopped Eduardo del Refugio, 40, in the central state of San Luis Potosi on Sunday. He agreed to let authorities search his car and, in the trunk, officers found the cub in a plastic carrier for dogs.

Authorities believe that Refugio was on his way to the U.S. to sell the cub to exotic pet dealers. He remained in custody while prosecutors prepared criminal charges. The cub is being cared for in an animal shelter.

Conservationists say only 200 to 500 Siberian tigers exist in the wild, and there are international bans on smuggling and trading them.

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