U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers uncovered a slithering special delivery at Kennedy Airport.
Officers seized five live juvenile king cobras from a package sent from Hong Kong during a June 29 inspection at the airport’s International Mail Facility, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Tuesday.
The express mail package had raised suspicion after its contents were described as a “plastic tray,” but an X-ray showed what appeared to be snakes in a round container.
Customs officials contacted the Fish and Wildlife Service to examine the package further. The outer box was carefully opened, revealing a plastic foam casing with rows of holes.
Inside were the live snakes and three geckos. Customs officers seized the package and turned it over to Fish and Wildlife for further investigation.
“Our CBP officers perform numerous daily tasks to protect the United States from potential dangers,” said Leon Hayward, acting director of the agency’s New York field operations. “This seizure demonstrates our wide-ranging responsibility in protecting our borders and our partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”