Prosecutors: Alabama shop sold coat of endangered jaguar fur

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MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Jaguar fur surrounds a federal case in which prosecutors say an Alabama clothing consignment shop violated the Endangered Species Act.

The shop, which does business as Hertha's Second Edition, violated the federal act by selling a fur coat to a customer in Biloxi, Mississippi, prosecutors said in a criminal complaint filed this week in the Southern District of Alabama. The coat was made partly from the hide of a jaguar, authorities said.

A lawyer representing the store and its affiliated firm, Hershey's Girls LLP, didn't immediately return phone and email messages from The Associated Press. No one answered the phone at its store in Mobile, Alabama, early Wednesday.

Hertha's Second Edition is described on its website as an upscale resale shop, with locations in Mobile and nearby Fairhope, Alabama.

The case is unusual, but not unprecedented in the vintage clothing business.

Last March in San Francisco, prosecutors charged the owner of a vintage clothing store with trying to sell coats and other items made of endangered species, including jaguar and snow leopard. Cicely Ann Hansen, 68, was charged with nine misdemeanor counts of illegal possession for sale of an endangered species.

Hansen owns Decades of Fashion, a popular vintage clothing store in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Hansen denied the allegations during a court appearance, and told reporters she had believed it was legal to sell fur clothes made before the Endangered Species Act took effect in the early 1970s.

The Alabama complaint provides no further details on the jaguar or the clothing at issue, but says the coat was sold to the Mississippi customer sometime between Jan. 13 and Feb. 6.

The charge is a felony and is punishable by up to one year in prison.

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