Authorities seized an unusual souvenir at a Virginia airport: giraffe and zebra bones that a Virginia woman was bringing home from a trip to Africa, officials said.
The woman told Customs and Border Protection agents at Washington Dulles International Airport last month that she had a sprig of acacia tree – a highly recognizable thorny tree on the African savannah. When officers sent her for additional screening, however, an X-ray of her bag turned up what CBP called “an anomaly,” and she updated her customs declaration to include zebra and giraffe bones, the agency said. According to a news release from.
While officials ultimately decided against bringing the twig into the country, the US Fish and Wildlife Service asked CBP to confiscate the bones, which the woman said she had found in Kenya, saying that bringing them would harm the country’s agriculture. Rules intended to protect the industry may be flouted. , pets and people.
CBP said the woman was not charged with a crime and was released.
“I can appreciate travelers who want to keep souvenirs of their vacation,” said Kim Der-Yeghien, CBP’s acting field port director for Washington, D.C., “but those souvenirs should be in violation of United States or international law.” or potentially to our families, pets or serious animal or plant diseases to the nation’s agricultural industry.”
Der-Yeghiyan said travelers are required to declare everything they are bringing into the states.
Der-Yeghien said in the statement, “Customs and Border Protection strongly encourages all travelers to learn what they can and cannot pack in their luggage before returning to or leaving the United States, and upon arrival But can declare all things.
The agency reported that on a typical day, more than 4,500 CBP agriculture specialists across the country restrict plants, meat, animal byproducts and soil, as well as hundreds of pests.
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