Chicago, Illinois (WiredPRNews.com) — The United States Postal Service has seen many interesting packages containing all sorts of exotic products from around the world. But in a package attempting to go through customs in Pennsylvania from Taiwan last week, postal workers got more than they bargained for.
In Mohnton, a town about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia, postal workers began to question a package when they heard scratching noises coming from it. The postmaster became suspicious of the package and notified authorities who confiscated it to be observed under an x-ray. In fact, the contents were shocking. Inside the box were two dozen giant beetles; some reported to be the size of a child’s hand.
John Plummer, an agency agriculture specialist, said in a statement, “The specimens were some of the largest of their kind, and some of the largest I’ve ever seen, averaging five to six inches in diameter…They are highly destructive insect pests that can cause extensive damage to fruit and vegetable crops, trees, shrubs and turf grasses.” According to the Associated Press, the declared items inside the box were harmless objects such as gifts, jellies and toys. Obviously, the spread of these destructive creatures was intentional.
After closer examination of the beetles, authorities identified 26 Hercules, rhinoceros and Goliath beetles. Unless a permit is granted to ship live insects to the United States from the Department of Agriculture, admission is illegal. Customs agency spokesman Steve Sapp noted that due to the fact that several of the containers were labeled according to gender, it is assumed that the beetles were intended to be used for breeding purposes.
“The sender and recipient have been identified, Sapp said. An investigation is under way, but no decision has been made whether to file charges, he said.”
Wired News Reporter