Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Airport personnel were taken aback when a security dog uncovered something unusual in the luggage of a traveller returning from Africa - mummified monkeys, the Independent reported.
The passenger, who claimed the luggage contained dried fish from a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, faced a surprising revelation during an inspection at Boston Logan Airport: the presence of four dead and dehydrated monkeys.
The traveller admitted bringing the monkeys into the US for personal consumption, according to Ryan Bissette, a spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection (CPB).
However, the importation of raw or minimally processed meat from wild animals, often known as "bushmeat," is prohibited in the US due to the potential threat of diseases.
Julio Caravia, the local port director for Customs and Border Protection, emphasised the real dangers associated with bringing bushmeat into the United States, citing the risk of illnesses, including the Ebola virus. Some HIV strains are even believed to have originated from bushmeat hunters in central and western Africa.
While the incident occurred last month, it was only made public on Friday. Although no charges were filed, all the luggage was seized, and the approximately 9 pounds (4 kilograms) of bushmeat were earmarked for destruction by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a separate case earlier this month, a Brazilian woman travelling to Sao Paulo via Panama faced wildlife trafficking charges after authorities seized 130 Harlequin frogs from her luggage at Bogota's El Dorado International Airport.
The alleged smuggler was apprehended after the poisonous animals were discovered packaged inside small film canisters.