A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) K-9 unit at Boston’s Logan Airport thwarted an attempt to illegally import four dehydrated monkey corpses, the agency announced Friday.
According to the CBP, an individual returning to the U.S. on a flight from Paris after a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo was sniffed out during a preliminary baggage screening by the CBP K-9 “Buddey” on Jan. 8.
When questioned about the contents of the bag, the individual declared that it only contained dried fish, CBP said.
Upon a search of the luggage, a CBP officer discovered the dead and dehydrated bodies of four monkeys.
CBP said the monkeys were what is referred to in some areas of the world as “bushmeat,” raw or minimally processed meat from wild animals that cannot be legally imported into the U.S.
The CBP officers immediately contacted the Center for Disease Control (CDC), who requested that the primate material be either destroyed or returned to France.
The four kilograms of monkey bushmeat was detained for CDC and marked for destruction, CBP said.
“The potential dangers posed by bringing bushmeat into the United States are real,” Julio Caravia, Area Port Director for CBP Boston, said Friday.
“Bushmeat can carry germs that can cause illness, including the Ebola virus. The work of CBP’s K9 unit and Agricultural Specialist were vital in preventing this potential danger from entering the U.S.,” Caravia added.