Customs and Border Protection agents made quite the aquatic discovery while routinely inspecting international luggage at Detroit Metropolitan Airport last week.
The CBP agriculture specialists were doing X-rays on bags re-entering the U.S. after they were separated from their owners when they found what was determined to be a young dolphin skull, CBP said in a news release.
The smuggling of certain wildlife, including marine mammals and products made from them, is “subject to import and export restrictions, prohibitions, permits or certificates, as well as other requirements,” CBP said.
“The possession of wildlife items, especially those of protected animals is prohibited,” Area Port Director Robert Larkin said. “We take wildlife smuggling seriously and work closely with our federal partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect wildlife and their habitats.”
The Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the skull in for further investigation.
CBP encouraged travelers to stay informed about regulations before they try to smuggle wildlife items into the U.S. “to avoid penalties, seizures, and even arrest.”
It is not known who the owner of the bag is and whether he or she will face any charges.