The Washington Post

T Rex skeleton

(Courtesy of ICE)

But in one celebrated instance, it was able to remove one particularly ferocious creature from our shores. Nevermind that the Tyrannosaurus Bataar that the U.S. government returned to Mongolia had been dead for some 70 million years.

During a repatriation ceremony, ICE officials on Monday gave back a raptor skeleton, which had been looted from the Gobi desert, smuggled to the U.S. and sold at auction for more than a million bucks a by self-described “commercial paleontologist” from Florida. “We cannot allow the greed of a few looters and schemers to trump the cultural interests of an entire nation,” ICE Director John Morton said in a statement.

Tsagaan Puntsag, the Chief of Office of the President of Mongolia, called the dino a “a hero dinosaur,” and welcomed it back to its country of origin. “We are... grateful to all the organizations and individuals who helped make it happen,” Puntsag said.

That’s our ICE!

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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