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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Customs Agents Intercept Smuggled Animal Skulls at San Francisco Airport

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

  • Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Stopped at the border

It's always interesting to see the sorts of contraband that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are intercepting in the Bay Area. About a year ago, we heaved a sigh of relief after "destructive" Pakistani insects were detected by the feds in a shipment of rice in Oakland.

But such arthropod invaders seem pedestrian next to the latest scourge discovered by CBP. In a statement this morning, the agency announced that six mouse deer skulls were found concealed in bags of dried fruit peels at the international mail center at San Francisco International Airport. The mail came from Laos, and was destined for Minnesota.

The fruit peels and skulls (pictured) were seized and destroyed. The

mouse deer, also known as the chevrotain, is a grazing animal that might transmit

hoof-and-mouth disease, according to CBP.

Unanswered is a basic question: Why would anyone want to secretly mail animal skulls from Laos to Minnesota?

"Your guess is as good as mine," said CBP spokesman Edward Low.

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Peter Jamison


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