Customs seize 'stinking' ape skull from traveller's luggage

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Customs seize 'stinking' ape skull from traveller's luggage
Photo: Hauptzollamt München/DPA

Customers officers did a double-take at Munich airport last week when a suitcase belonging to a man arriving from Thailand turned out to contain the reeking skull of an unfortunate ape.


The 650-gramme, 23-centimetre souvenir had not been properly cleaned, resulting in the grim stench that assaulted the officers' nostrils.

But there was worse news for its hapless owner, as the remaining fatty deposits in the skull meant that it infringed Germany's disease control laws.

Customs officers can seize animal remains that might carry disease into the country and infect animals here – and so they confiscated the skull and destroyed it.

What's more, the owner couldn't produce papers to demonstrate that he had obtained the skull legally under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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