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Smuggled Tiger
This Aug. 23, 2017 photo provided by the San Diego Zoo Global shows a small male Bengal tiger cub was brought to the hospital at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers, and placed in the care of veterinary staff. The young tiger had been rescued earlier that day by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, who found the cub while inspecting a vehicle that was entering the U.S. from Mexico. (Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Global via AP)

Smuggled tiger cub found on floorboard of car at border checkpoint

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Bengal tiger cub that was being smuggled into California from Mexico has undergone emergency surgery to fix internal problems he probably had before being rescued.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park says the male cub, named Moka, had the operation Tuesday and appears to be recovering but he'll remain under observation.

The park says Moka had abdominal adhesions and recently had shown signs of ill health.

Moka was 6 weeks old when he was found on the floor of a car last August at a San Diego border checkpoint. Tigers are endangered and it's illegal to import them without a permit.

He was handed over to the park.

The 18-year-old driver, who claimed he bought the cub as a pet, was sentenced to six months in prison.

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