WATCH: Tiger cub taken in by vet hospital after being found at US border

A teenager has been charged with attempting to smuggle the club into the US

WATCH: Tiger cub taken in by vet hospital after being found at US border

Image: San Diego Zoo Global

A small tiger cub has been taken in by a vet hospital in the US, after it is believed he was smuggled into the country.

A teenager has been charged with trying to smuggle the cub into the US after it was found in a foot well of a car.

The discovery was made by US Customs and Border Protection officers conducting a routine inspection at the Otay Mesa border crossing with Mexico on Wednesday morning.

The teenager claimed in court that he had bought it on the streets of Tijuana for US$300.

The cub was brought to the Paul Harter Veterinary Hospital at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. He is now in the care of veterinary staff.

The staff performed a thorough health exam and determined that the cub was in good health.

Image: San Diego Zoo Global

Dr Jim Oosterhuis, principal veterinarian, said: "His heart and lungs sound good, his blood work looked great and, since he took a bottle from us, it's a good sign he'll continue to thrive".

It is thought the cub is between five and six-weeks-old, weighing in at a little over six pounds.

Dr Oosterhuis added: "He has teeth coming in, so he'll be teething in the next week or two, so animal care staff will have a little chore getting him through that."

After spending a couple of hours at the hospital, the cub was transferred to an animal care centre, where experienced keepers are caring for him around the clock.

The cub is housed in an isolated area away from other animals, in accordance with protocols for new arrivals.

San Diego Zoo Global will continue to provide care for the cub until officials determine his permanent home.