PHOENIX (Reuters) - U.S. Border police found ten Amazon parrots stuffed in the duffel bag of a man crossing from Mexico, authorities said on Thursday.
Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry, south of San Diego, Calif., found the small, green birds hidden in a bag in a pickup truck on Tuesday, and arrested the driver, a U.S. citizen.
CBP spokesman Vince Bond said the birds were placed in agricultural quarantine and transferred to the Department of Agriculture's veterinary services.
He said officers at two ports of entry south of San Diego had seized 152 wild birds since October 1 last year.
"This is an enforcement issue we take very seriously. We are doing our utmost to keep dangerous viruses and diseases from entering the United States," Bond said.
San Ysidro is the busiest border crossing in the world. Inspectors more frequently discover drugs and undocumented migrants smuggled from the sprawling industrial city of Tijuana, in Mexico.