Weevils found inside juggling balls at Auckland Airport

The bugs found inside a tourist's juggling balls. Photo / Supplied
The bugs found inside a tourist's juggling balls. Photo / Supplied

An Argentinian traveller will have to re-think her act after weevils were found inside her juggling balls at Auckland Airport.

The balls were intercepted last week during a search of the air passenger's baggage after she arrived from Buenos Aires.

An MPI quarantine officer noticed weevils on the balls. Further examination showed they were stuffed with dried corn and more insects.

"We take a special interest in juggling equipment, as the balls are often filled with seeds - something that many travellers are unaware of," said Dave Sims, MPI team manager, Auckland Airport.

"We often pick up the seeds and other organic material when the balls pass through border x-ray screening. Our biosecurity detector dogs are also good at finding seeds.

"In most of these cases the passenger will get a warning rather than a fine, as juggling balls are not something that many travellers would think to declare."

"It's an opportunity to educate the traveller in question about the importance of biosecurity to New Zealand."

He said it was very rare to find dried corn used as stuffing.

The passenger was planning to spend a year in New Zealand. She had other juggling equipment that did not pose any biosecurity risk to New Zealand's economy or environment.

- NZ Herald

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