King cobras found in mail package at NYC airport

NEW YORK — U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport seized five live King Cobras during a mail inspection last month. 

CBS New York reports CBP officers inspected the express mail from Hong Kong on June 29 in the airport’s mail facility. The contents of one package were described as a plastic tray, but an x-ray showed what appeared to be snakes in a round container.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was called to examine the package and found a styrofoam casing that had rows of holes. They determined that the package contained five live snakes and three geckos.

“Our CBP officers perform numerous daily tasks to protect the United States from potential dangers. This seizure demonstrates our wide-ranging responsibility in protecting our borders and our partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Leon Hayward, Acting Director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.

CBP seized the package and turned it over to FWS for further investigation. 

No injuries were reported. 

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