This Customs and Border Protection dog wasn’t monkeying around.
A canine with the federal agency – and with a nose for the unusual — sniffed out four mummified monkeys that a person was attempting to get into the United States from Africa after landing at Logan International Airport in Boston last month, officials recently revealed.
The illegally transported “deceased and dehydrated” monkeys were discovered inside a suitcase on Jan. 9 during a preliminary screening by a K9 named Buddy, the federal department said in a news release Friday.
Buddy alerted his handler to the specific piece of luggage that led authorities to question the passenger, who was on Delta flight 225 from Paris on his way back from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The unidentified individual claimed it only held dry fish. While an x-ray of the luggage appeared to only show the fish, a further inspection of the bag unearthed the four dead monkeys, CBP said.
Raw or minimally processed meat of wild animals from certain spots in the world — Africa included — is called bushmeat, which can cause communicable diseases, officials said.
“The potential dangers posed by bringing bushmeat into the United States are real,” Julio Caravia, CBP Boston’s area port director, said in a statement.
“Bushmeat can carry germs that can cause illness, including the Ebola virus. The work of CBP’s K9 unit and Agricultural Specialist were vital in preventing this potential danger from entering the US.”
CBP called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading the health agency to request the luggage to either be destroyed or sent back to France.
About four kilograms, or nearly nine pounds, of bushmeat were taken by the CDC and marked for destruction.