Passenger Claimed He Had Dried Fish. Not Exactly

US Customs and Border Protection dog flagged bag that held mummified monkeys
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2024 6:03 AM CST
X-Ray of Luggage Didn't Spot Anything Weird. A Search Did
This undated photo shows the mummified remains of four monkeys discovered and seized from luggage from a traveler who'd been to the Democratic Republic of Congo before arriving at Boston Logan Airport.   (Customs and Border Protection via AP)

A US Customs and Border Protection dog sniffed out something unusual in luggage from a traveler returning from Africa—mummified monkeys. After the K9 directed his handler to a specific piece of luggage, the passenger, who was returning from a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, reported the luggage contained dried fish. Fox News reports an X-ray didn't reveal anything unusual, but a physical inspection at Boston Logan Airport revealed dead and dehydrated bodies of four monkeys, agents said. The traveler said he brought the monkeys into the US for his own consumption, Ryan Bissette, a CBP spokesperson, said Sunday.

Raw or minimally processed meat from wild animals, sometimes referred to as "bushmeat," is banned in the US because of the threat of disease, reports the AP. "The potential dangers posed by bringing bushmeat into the United States are real. Bushmeat can carry germs that can cause illness, including the Ebola virus," said Julio Caravia, local port director for Customs and Border Protection. The incident happened last month but was made public on Friday.

Bissette said Sunday that no charges were filed but all of the luggage was seized and the nearly 9 pounds of bushmeat were marked for destruction by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (More strange stuff stories.)

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