Philadelphia Customs officers intercept package containing 60 dead butterflies

May 14, 2024
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Customs officers in Philadelphia intercept package containing 60 dead butterflies


Customs officers in Philadelphia intercept package containing 60 dead butterflies

00:33

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Philadelphia intercepted a package from Portugal containing 60 dead butterflies earlier this month, officials said. 

CBP agriculture specialists first inspected the parcel, which was labeled as “pieces of silk to be used in works,” on May 2 and found that it contained “dried out pupal cases and over 60 envelopes containing dead adult moth and butterfly specimens of the order Lepidoptera,” according to a news release from CBP. 

The specialists detained the package, which was bound for Wayne County in Northeast Pennsylvania, and reported it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

The Fish and Wildlife Service regulates wildlife importation, including dead specimens. The package of butterflies did not contain invoices or import documentation that would have explained the species or purpose of the package, according to the release. 

Several dead butterflies lie on top of envelopes
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists intercepted a collection of 60 dead adult moth and butterfly specimens of the order Lepidoptera on May 3. (CBP Photos/Handouts)

CBP Photos/Handouts


“Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists have a very challenging and critical mission, and that is to protect our vital agricultural resources against the accidental or deliberate introduction of invasive insect pests, and plant and animal diseases that could harm our nation’s economic vitality,” CBP’s Area Port Director for Philadelphia Tater Ortiz said in a statement.

CBP agriculture specialists inspect tens of thousands of international air travelers and air and sea cargo coming into the United States every day.

Three of the butterflies that were intercepted are pictured, two are blue and black and one is yellow and white
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists intercepted a collection of 60 dead adult moth and butterfly specimens of the order Lepidoptera on May 3.

CBP Photos/Handouts


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