In December 2015, the US Customs and Border Protection Agency made a decision to return the skull of a Tarbosaurus Bataar (commonly called a “Tyrannosaurus” Bataar), which had been illegally smuggled from Mongolia to the USA in 2007, and sold at auction. Initially it was not known who the current owner of the 67 million years-old skull was. An investigation revealed that Hollywood star Nicholas Cage bought the skull for USD 276.000 at an auction in Beverley Hills.
Nicholas Cage, aged 52, said he did not know anything about the illegal activities connected with the skull and stressed that he was innocent. The actor has not been accused of any crime and accepted the decision for the precious object to be handed over to the Mongolian Government.
On 11th March, New-York County District Attorney made the final decision to give back the skull to Mongolia, in accordance with which Nicolas Cage will hand it over before 4th April 2016.
The Tarbosaurus Bataar, was a 6 ton carnivore, which lived in what is now the Gobi Desert. Slightly smaller than its American relative cousin the Tyrannosaurus Rex, both lived in the Late Cretaceous at the end of the age of the dinosaurs. It will be recalled, that as a result of the personal intervention of President Ts.Elbegdorj, a complete Tarbosaurus skeleton, which was illegally being sold at auction in the United States was returned home.