Thu, May 10, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Man jailed for smuggling iguana meat into US

An iguana in Norway’s Oslo Reptile Park is seen in this photo from the Wikimedia Commons.

Photo courtesy of BjOrn Christian TOrrissen
照片由BjOrn Christian TOrrissen提供

A Las Vegas man who tried to smuggle 115 oven-ready iguanas into the US from Mexico has been sentenced to two years in prison for illegally importing the reptiles, authorities said on April 26.

A search found the beheaded, skinned, and deboned bodies of 115 green iguanas weighing 72kg hidden beneath fish in the coolers.

Green iguanas are eaten in Mexico and Central America. They are enjoyed in stews or roasted and served in tacos or flautas, usually with condiments. Some recipes recommend parboiling the reptiles first, but iguanas are also regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). While they are not endangered, CITES says they may become threatened if trade is not tightly controlled.

Fonseca, who said he obtained the iguanas in Nayarit in western Mexico, had neither an import license from the US Fish and Wildlife Service nor any CITES permit from Mexico’s wildlife management authority.

A researcher working for an iguana conservation program in Mexico concluded that removing more than 100 iguanas from the Nayarit area essentially “means that the local population was technically wiped out.”









1. smuggle v.

走私 (zou3 si1)

例: He has been smuggling cigarettes from Gibraltar into Spain.


2. condiment n.

佐料 (zuo3 liao4)

例: Fish sauce is a traditional fermented condiment in coastal areas.


3. wipe out v. phr.

消滅 (xiao1 mie4)

例: The plague had wiped out whole villages.


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