U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Los Angeles have made some unusual seizures, including elephant meat, a dead primate and hundreds of handbags made from the skin of snakes, lizards and crocodiles.
The agency says in a press release Monday that the illegal items were seized between May 6 and May 10 at an international mail facility and at Los Angeles International Airport.
The tiny dead macaque primate from Indonesia had been declared as a gift and was addressed to North Port, Fla.
The 387 purses were in the baggage of a passenger from Nigeria. the purses were made from prohibited and protected species including 98 made of African rock pythons, 19 made of monitor lizards, 85 made of dwarf crocodiles, 179 made of cobras and 6 made of puff adder snakes.
The 1,500 counterfeit bags arrived from China in two shipments on Feb. 12 and 26, officials said. Each bag was valued at $18,414.
Discovering exotic items is part of the job. Last year, customs officers at LAX seized seven ivory tusks, one hippopotamus tusk, and seven purses made of ostrich, stingray, crocodile and elephant skins in baggage belonging to a US citizen coming from Europe.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.