"Spiritual" suitcase contained elephant tails, hedgehog
Press releases from the Customs and Border Protection never cease to amaze with the strange items seized from people coming into the country.
[Right click and select 'view image' to enlarge the picture]
Today, the agency said that a passenger arriving at Dulles from Ghana - and destined for Maryland - on Dec. 3 tried to pass through with a suitcase containing a hedgehog, elephant tails, chameleons, skins from genets (a cat-like species indigenous to Africa), seed pods, sheets soaked with the blood of sacrificed chickens, and "a lot of soil." He said the items were for "spiritual purposes."
The 59-year-old passenger had initially told agents that his suitcase contained dried herbs and clothing.
“This is by far one of the strangest suitcases we’re ever opened. The passenger told us that the items were to be used for spiritual purposes. From what we were able to learn, the items seem consistent with that explanation,” said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington. “Regardless of its intended purpose, each item posed potentially severe animal and plant disease threats to American agriculture. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists were required to destroy them.”
[Image courtesy Customs and Border Protection]