A U.S. citizen caught trying to bring an endangered leopard cat into Miami from the Czech Republic was sentenced to six months of house arrest on Friday.
David Sparandara, 46, who lives in Prague, was trying to get two of the rare spotted Asian leopard cats into the United States so he could sell them, said R. Alexander Acosta, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Sparandara tried to ship one of the cats through Miami International Airport in December 2005, but did not have the necessary permits, Acosta said. The leopard was to be sold for more than $4,000.
Asian leopard cats, which were declared endangered in 1976, weigh about 10 pounds and are valued for their fur and for breeding purposes. They are crossed with domestic cats to create Bengal cats.
Aside from the house arrest, Sparandara was fined $1,500 and sentenced to five years’ probation for the illegal sale and transportation of the cats. The seized leopard will stay in the United States.