An American teenager has been sentenced to six months in prison for trying to smuggle a Royal Bengal Tiger across the US-Mexico border. This news comes just days after a video clip of the tiger cub went viral after it was posted to Facebook by the San Diego Zoo.
Multiple American media outlets reported that 18-year-old Luis Valencia's lawyer had argued that his client had suffered a 'lapse in judgement' and that he had wanted to keep the tiger as a pet. However, when he was arrested in August 2017 at a border check post near San Diego, Valencia had reportedly told officers of the US Customs and Border Police that the cub was just a regular cat. He had also reportedly produced Mexican paperwork to try and prove that the cub was indeed just a cat.
The Royal Bengal cub, named Moka, was handed over to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. He has made friends with another cub there, a Sumatran tiger named Rakan. The safari park has posted a few videos of the cubs, which have without fail gone viral.
This was the video that was posted just days ago.
Clips of Moka and Rakan playing with each other also regularly evoke a flood of positive responses online.
Moka and Rakan even have their own 24-hour live 'tiger cam' where you might catch them playing, if you are lucky.
Moka and Rakan are likely to grow up together for a while. But it is inevitable that they will have to be separated as they grow closer to adulthood. Tigers are solitary creatures and the two buddies are likely to fighter each other for control of territory. Moka is a Royal Bengal and is likely to grow to be bigger and about a 100 kg heavier than Rakan, a Sumatran.