A US customs and border protection dog has caused a stir at Boston’s often bustling airport after sniffing out something unusual in luggage from a traveler returning from Africa: mummified monkeys.
The passenger returning from a visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo reported that the luggage contained dried fish. But an inspection at Boston Logan Airport revealed four dead monkeys whose bodies were dehydrated, agents said. The traveler said he brought the monkeys into the US for his own consumption, customs and border patrol spokesperson Ryan Bissette said Sunday.
Raw or minimally processed meat from wild animals – sometimes referred to as “bushmeat” – is banned in the US because of the threat of disease.
“The potential dangers posed by bringing bushmeat into the United States are real,” said Julio Caravia, local port director for Customs and Border Protection. “Bushmeat can carry germs that can cause illness, including the Ebola virus.”
The discovery of the mummified monkeys at Logan airport was in January. But it was not made public until Friday.
Bissette said on Sunday that no charges were filed in connection with the discovery of the monkeys. But all of the luggage belonging to the traveler who had been to central Africa was seized, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention marked the nearly 9lbs (4kg) of bushmeat for destruction.
The Associated Press contributed reporting