A SMALL AIRPORT in French Guyana recently hit the headlines when it emerged a Dutch man tried to smuggle live hummingbirds through there… in his pants.
He had sewn the tiny helpless birds into his pants in an attempt to bring them into the country illegally.
He’s not the only person who has tried to bring items into different countries in rather unusual ways.
Sadly, many of the smuggled animals do not survive or have already been killed for their valuable parts.
- Sixty-five wild Peruvian canaries died due to suffocation or dehydration after a Portugese man was found trying to smuggle them in through Sao Paulo International airport on 25 September 2008. He tried to bring in 200 canaries in all, by keeping them cooped up in four cages inside two suitcases
- In 2009, Sony Dong was sentenced to four months in prison after being found with songbirds strapped to his legs at Los Angeles International Airport. He was also ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution to federal authorities caring for the birds.
- A whopping 1,800 seized Bengal monitor lizards were smuggled on pickup trucks from south of Thailand on 8 April this year – and the Customs Department suspected the lizards were destined to be eaten. Their meat sells for between €12 – €24 per kilogram in China, making them worth more than €45,000.
- Thousands of euro in cash was seized this morning after being found hidden in a man’s underwear at Dublin Airport. In total, the 31-year-old man from Cameroon had €37,000 confiscated by Customs officials, who discovered it concealed in his underwear. He was stopped and searched after arriving on a flight from Charleroi Airport, south of Brussels in Belgium.
- On March 21, 2011, two babies were found in a wooden coffer under a bed in a trailer, at a checkpoint in Luzhanka, Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities detained a French family who tried to smuggle the two 2-month-old infants hidden under a mattress in a van into Europe.
- Spiders are often smuggled into the USA illegally. San Diego Zoo’s Entomology Department, was given 79 arachnids given by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) that were shipped into the country illegally.
- A California man crossing into the United States at Santa Teresa in New Mexico was caught trying to smuggle three ground squirrels in 2005. They were discovered tucked in the coat pockets of the 19-year-old and were confiscated by US Customs and Border Protection officers, who sent them to a wildlife rehabilitator.
Check out some of the strange and shocking photographs from these cases – and more – below: