NEW ZEALAND - A traveler from Samoa was stopped at Auckland International Airport and a bat's head was seized when he had it listed under his list of declared risk items.
The traveler said his family had eaten the rest of the bat in Samoa and that he was bringing the head with him to show his relatives in New Zealand.
According to Craig Hughes this incident ranks up there in the list of strange things they've seen from passengers.
Even though the bat's head has since been destroyed, “tt was a biosecurity nightmare. Bats have a terrible reputation as disease carriers and the remains could have harboured hitchhiker pests.”
“It’s what we want from all arriving international travellers. It’s about everyone doing their bit to protect New Zealand, not to mention avoiding a stiff fine or other enforcement action, said Hughes.
The "flying fox", or Samoan fruit bat, is listed by the IUCN as "near threatened" and recent tropical storms that have savaged the Samoan islands in the five years, the fruit bat populations are under pressure as their food sources are typically wiped out by such storms.