- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities at the southern Arizona border have seized what is believed to be the pelt of a large ocelot, which is an endangered species.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Mariposa Port found a tanned hide inside a motorhome during an inspection Monday.

The unidentified owner told the specialists that he was given the pelt by a friend in Mexico.

Agriculture specialists detained the item on behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Fish and Wildlife inspectors determined Tuesday that the pelt is likely that of an ocelot.



The small spotted cats with a long tail have been listed as endangered since 1982 under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The pelt was turned over to federal wildlife officials as part of an ongoing investigation.

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