A Connecticut was busted trying to smuggle 34 live birds into JFK via hair curlers in his carry-on luggage.
Francis Gurahoo, 39, attempted to smuggle the Guyanese finches into the United States from Guyana, ABC reported. Authorities arrested him on Sunday.
Officials say Gurahoo was bringing the birds to the states so they could participate in bird singing contests that take place in public parks across New York City. The Washington Post reports that the contests involve a judge determining which bird has the “best voice” or sings the most songs.
Gurahoo reportedly intended to sell the birds for $3,000 each. Some folks genuinely believe that the Guyanese finches sing better than your everyday Goldfinch, making them a favorite for smugglers, according to prosecutors.
It was reported by The New York Times in December that customs had seized nearly 200 Guyanese finches, and that they are the most commonly trafficked animals.
What happens once officials catch these living creatures? The Washington Post reported that most living creatures are sent back to their origin country, but sometimes, they are donated zoo, refuges or aquarium.
Although this case may seem odd, it is certainly not the weirdest thing found by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents in recent years.
In fact, the TSA shares some of their favorite #AskTSA questions about what you can and cannot bring in your carry-on on their Instagram. On Twitter, the TSA has an account called @askTSA, where people can ask questions about anything from animals to antiques, they’ve got you covered.