California man who tried smuggling in tiger cub from Mexico gets 6 months in prison

An 18-year-old Californian received six months in prison for smuggling a tiger.

— -- A California man has been sentenced to six months in prison for smuggling an endangered tiger cub into the U.S. from Mexico.

Prosecutors argued that cell phone data showed that Luis Valencia was running an animal-trafficking business, according to the Associated Press.

The 18-year-old's lawyer said in court Tuesday that Valencia had "a lapse in judgement" and wanted the cub as a pet, the AP reported. Valencia was arrested in August of 2017 after officers searched his car at the border, attempting to reenter California.

The cub, which was five or six weeks old at the time, was transferred to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where it was given a clean bill of health.

The bengal tiger is endangered, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

It's illegal to own a tiger in the U.S. without a permit.