MINNEAPOLIS — Federal customs agents were not amused by the plans of an Iowa woman who attempted to bring giraffe feces into the U.S. in order to make jewelry. The woman had picked up the feces during a trip to Kenya and tried to smuggle it through the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport on September 29.
The woman, who remains unidentified, voluntarily declared the small box of feces when she was selected for inspection upon arrival, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. She informed officials that she intended to use the waste to make a necklace, much like she had done in the past with moose poop.
It is possible to bring giraffe poop back to the U.S. with the appropriate permits and inspections, as reported by Minnesota Public Radio. The woman will not face any penalties as she declared the feces and handed it over to Customs. However, the agency’s agriculture specialists destroyed the giraffe poop.
The Customs and Border Protection’s Chicago field Director, LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, issued a statement saying, “There is a real danger in bringing fecal matter into the U.S. If this person had not declared these items, there is a high possibility that someone could have contracted a disease from the jewelry and developed serious health issues.”
Risks associated with bringing fecal matter from Kenya into the U.S. include African swine fever, classical swine fever, Newcastle disease, foot-and-mouth disease, and swine vesicular disease.