Customs officials in the United States have confiscated a box of giraffe droppings that the owner said were intended to be made into jewelry. The woman returning from Kenya was selected for a check at the airport in Minneapolis (Minnesota) last week, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.
When asked if she had anything to announce, the woman stated that she had brought an unusual souvenir with her. The clump-shaped excrement was in a small box along with a shell, as seen in an image released by customs.
The passenger said she wanted to use it to make a necklace - something she had already done with moose droppings in her native Iowa. The officials confiscated the giraffe excrement and destroyed it properly using superheated steam, it said.
The woman took part in a safari in Kenya, local media reported. She didn't get a fine because she declared the box to customs and then handed it in voluntarily. Otherwise a fine of 300 to 1000 dollars (around 285 to 950 euros) would have been due. “We were really a bit shocked,” the broadcaster MPR quoted a customs official as saying. “We don’t see something like this every day.”
“Bringing feces into the United States is a real danger,” said another customs spokeswoman. Through such a necklace, someone could most likely have contracted a disease and developed serious health problems. Therefore, authorization from the veterinary authorities is required for the import of feces from ruminants into the USA. Kenya is affected by African swine fever and foot and mouth disease.
Notice of Customs Report Minnesota Public Radio