June 15, 2011 / 9:09 PM / 8 years ago

Agents seize 159 pounds of iguana meat at Mexico border

An iguana climbs on a tree at an amphibian breeding farm outside Hanoi June 2, 2011. REUTERS/Kham

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Customs agents have seized 159 pounds of iguana meat at the Mexican border, hidden in coolers of fish, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The coolers full of iguana meat, worth an estimated $4,500, were found in a vehicle being driven across the border by a 37-year-old man, Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Jackie Wasiluk said.

Wasiluk said she couldn’t speculate on the origins of the iguana meat or why the man, a U.S. citizen who was not identified by authorities, would be bringing it into the country.

“There could be a number of reasons but one of the main ones that comes to mind is that there are parts of the world where people do eat iguana meat as a delicacy,” she said.

Customs officers contacted U.S. Fish and Wildlife enforcement agents, who took possession of the iguana meat and charged the suspect with violating the Convention on International Trade of endangered species.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb. Editing by Peter Bohan

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