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Rare birds found taped to passenger's body at LAX

August 29, 2011 | 10:20 am

A bird found stuffed in a sock at LAX
A routine pat-down at LAX turned up two unusual travelers: Bright yellow birds, stuffed in socks and taped to the arm and leg of a traveler bound for China, according to authorities.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers arrested the passenger Wednesday night on suspicion of smuggling goods and exporting an endangered species, said Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Admininistration.

The woman's ticketed destination on China Southern Airlines was Baiyun Airport in Guangzhou, China.

Melendez said the birds appeared to be in good shape after being separated from the passenger. 


TSA agents' primary job is to expose possible threats to airline passengers, but from time to time they report suspicious or illegal items to law enforcement, the spokesman said. 

"It was just one of those weird things that happens at our checkpoints," he said.

On Thursday, officers at Miami International Airport caught a passenger attempting to smuggle snakes and turtles under his clothing, the agency said.


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-- Gale Holland

Photo: A bird found stuffed in a sock at an LAX checkpoint. Credit: Transportation Security Administration