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Customs takes custody of bird captured on flight to LAX

June 1, 2012 |  6:06 pm

Seized songbirdCustoms officials have seized a songbird that got loose inside an airplane traveling from Taiwan to Los Angeles International Airport.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol specialists believe the bird was being smuggled into the country illegally. After a passenger on the May 26 flight discovered the bird, an airline crew member put it in a bag.

When the plane landed, airline personnel handed the bird over to customs officials and then to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where it was placed in a cage and fed. Agriculture specialists also inspected the passengers and luggage but didn't find any more birds.

No arrests were made. But officials said Friday the bird was the same species as others discovered previously at LAX.

A Garden Grove man was sentenced in 2010 after pleading guilty to smuggling 14 songbirds from Vietnam. The birds were strapped to his leg.


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Photo: Songbird captured aboard flight bound for LAX. Credit: Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection