Nearly two-dozen giant millipedes found at San Francisco airport
Nearly two-dozen millipedes were found last week by customs agents at San Francisco Airport. (Photo courtesy: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency)
The millipedes were found in this plastic foam box, agents said. (Photo courtesy: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency)
Thomas Widl, worker in the Munich Zoo, measures a giant millipede worm during the annual inventory Friday, January 15, 1999. The length added up to 23 centimeters, four more than in last year's check.
A keeper at London Zoo measures an African millipede during the annual weighing and measuring of the creatures at the zoo, Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012.
Giant millipedes, Barydesmus species, mating on rainforest floor, Borneo, Malaysia (Getty Images)
By RYAN GORMAN
Customs and Border Protection agents seized nearly two-dozen giant millipedes last week at San Francisco International Airport, the agency announced.
A plastic foam box labeled "toy car model" was found in the airport's mail facility to have been transporting 20 of the foot-long creepy crawlers from Germany, according to a CBPAS press release.
Agents noticed an "anomaly" while running the package through an X-ray machine and cracked it open for further inspection.
"The agriculture specialists on duty were quick to notice the deception and took the necessary action," said Brian J. Humphrey, CBP director of Field Operations in San Francisco.
The live millipedes were found inside the box along with soil and paper, they were then handed over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for further identification.
It is not clear what the USDA will ultimately do with the millipedes.
Importing exotic animals into the U.S. is not illegal, but specific permits are needed. The package was mislabeled in an effort to get around having those permits.
Agents from the USDA-Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance task force are now handling the ongoing investigation.
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