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10 bizarre items seized by airport security

By Marilynn McLachlan

One woman's hat was actually a live chameleon. Photo / Thinkstock
One woman's hat was actually a live chameleon. Photo / Thinkstock

Marcela Gibson did not expect to have her expensive cosmetics binned at Auckland Airport recently. Today we look at 10 bizarre items confiscated by airport security around the world - from a live chameleon to a dead body.

1. Rooster testicles

Two kilograms of rooster testicles were confiscated at Wellington Airport last year. A Vietnamese visitor had filled a chilly bin full of food, including the testicles. According to Clove Garden, rooster testicles are a delicacy, believed to enhance male prowess and improve skin tone for women. The testicles were confiscated because they presented a biosecurity risk.

2. Woody from Toy Story's mini gun

You never can be too careful when it comes to gun control, and earlier this year, Heathrow security staff were extra vigilant when they confiscated a toy gun from a Woody doll. The owner of the doll, John Hazen, travels the world with Woody to send photos back to his son. He was shocked when security patted the doll down and seized the gun.

3. Live chameleon hat

Officials at Manchester Airport stopped a 17-year-old woman who was wearing an unusual looking hat. The woman was travelling to Manchester from Dubai in 2002. It was found, upon closer investigation, that her hat was actually a live chameleon. She had bought the lizard in Saudi Arabia and wanted to bring it with her to the UK, but security had other ideas.

4. A dead body

Two women attempted to check-in Curt Willi Jarant, 91, claiming that his slumped posture was because he was asleep. In a case reminiscent of the film Weekend At Bernie's, the pair - his wife and stepdaughter - put sunglasses on his face and struggled to get him from a taxi into the wheelchair. Their efforts roused the suspicions of a worker at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool and security staff discovered Jarant was dead.

5. Tiger penis and gallbladder

Airport security discovered a Cambodian woman attempting to smuggle a tiger penis and gallbladder into Auckland Airport in 2010. A security dog signaled to the left hip of the woman and upon further investigation they found a stocking tied around her waist - it contained the tiger penis and gall bladder. The items were seized and the woman was liable for a fine of up to $100,000 and/or five years imprisonment.

6. Human skull fragments

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of America were suspicious of two women attempting to carry a pottery piece onto a flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Baltimore. Upon breaking the seal, they discovered that along with the dirt and rocks there were pieces of skull and teeth. The pair claimed they had purchased the sealed pot in Cuba and had no idea about the contents.

7. Snakes and lizards

Customs officers were shocked to discover 44 native snakes and lizards in the luggage of a 24-year-old man at Sydney Airport in 2009. The haul included a rare Albino carpet python and 16 blue-tongue lizards. The man was arrested before the plane took off to Bangkok.

8. A seal's head

Security officers at Logan International Airport in Massachusetts were shocked to discover the severed head of a harbor seal in a man's luggage. The unnamed man, who was a biology professor, claimed to have found a dead seal on a beach and decided not to waste an educational opportunity. He chopped off the seal's head and popped it into his luggage to take with him to Denver. The man was allowed to board the plane, but the head was confiscated.

9. Tiger cub

A Thai woman raised suspicion with security staff at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport with her huge luggage and strange behaviour. Upon X-raying her suitcase, it was discovered that amongst her toy tigers was a live but sedated 2-month old tiger. The 31-year old was arrested and the cub sent to a wildlife conservation center.

10. Monkeys

A man with a suspicious bulge under his t-shirt aroused the suspicion of security staff when he arrived at the Mexico City airport from Peru. Upon searching him, they discovered 18 small endangered monkeys hidden under his clothing in a girdle. Each titi monkey was placed in a small sack and hung from the girdle. Two of the animals died before they were found.

Photos / Thinkstock

- nzherald.co.nz

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