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Mummified monkey remains were found in luggage at Boston's airport

The traveler caught with the mummified monkey remains initially said the items were dried fish.
Customs and Border Protection via AP
The traveler caught with the mummified monkey remains initially said the items were dried fish.

The traveler at Boston Logan International Airport said the bag contained dried fish.

But upon further examination, airport agents discovered that it was in fact mummified remains, which included heads, belonging to four monkeys, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.

The incident took place on Thursday at a security screening for passengers. A canine officer named Buddey sniffed out the dead and dehydrated monkeys from inside luggage belonging to a traveler who recently returned to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Raw or minimally processed meat from certain wild animals, otherwise known as bushmeat, is not allowed to enter the U.S. largely out of health concerns.

"Bushmeat can carry germs that can cause illness, including the Ebola virus," Julio Caravia, the area port director at CBP Boston, said in a statement.

The traveler on Thursday carried about 8 pounds of bushmeat. The Centers for Disease Control marked it for destruction, according to the CBP.

Airport agents around the country have encountered a variety of meats. In 2022, agents at Washington Dulles Airport confiscated charred bat. In 2019, officers at O'Hare International Airport intercepted about 32 pounds of rat meat.

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Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.