Passengers on a 10-hour flight from Taiwan to California discovered a surprising stowaway when a songbird hopped down their plane's aisle in what officials suspect is a failed animal smuggling attempt.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection specialists said in a statement Friday that they seized the bird upon the flight's arrival at Los Angeles International Airport on May 27.

A flight attendant had captured the bird and handed it over to customs agents who put the bird in a cage and gave it seeds and water.

After screening and X-raying all passengers, crew and carry-on bags, no other birds, droppings or feathers were found.

Customs officials say smuggled animals can carry diseases, such as avian flu, which is potentially fatal.
 

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

NewsdayTV talks to Zeldin at RNC ... Explaining Nassau transgender athlete ban ... New animals at game farm

Get the latest news and more great videos at NewsdayTV Credit: Newsday

NewsdayTV talks to Zeldin at RNC ... Explaining Nassau transgender athlete ban ... New animals at game farm

Latest videos

ONE-DAY SALE26¢ for 5 6 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME