Virginia woman stopped by airport security bringing giraffe and zebra bones back from Kenya

The woman told authorities she wanted to keep the animal bones as souvenirs

Security personnel at Washington Dulles International Airport stopped a woman trying to bring giraffe and zebra bones back to the U.S. from Kenya, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

The woman, who was not identified because she was not criminally charged, initially declared that she just had a small Acacia tree twig in her possession when she arrived at the airport on Nov. 17. 

The woman allegedly told CBP officials that she found the giraffe and zebra bones in Kenya. 

The woman allegedly told CBP officials that she found the giraffe and zebra bones in Kenya.  (Customs and Border Protection)

The small twig was fine to bring back to the U.S., but CBP agricultural specialists found the animal bones while x-raying her bag during a secondary examination. 

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The woman allegedly told authorities that she found the animal remains in Kenya and wanted to bring them back to the U.S. as souvenirs. 

Fish and Wildlife Service inspectors determined that importation of the giraffe and zebra bones violates the Lacey Act, which combats the trafficking of wildlife and plants, as well as other laws. Certain animal remains and plants could introduce diseases to the U.S., according to CBP. 

Dulles International Airport on November 17, 2022, in Dulles, Virginia. 

Dulles International Airport on November 17, 2022, in Dulles, Virginia.  (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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CBP official Christopher Brewer told Fox 5 DC that security officials have seized everything from charred bat meat to a stew containing iguana eggs. 

"About two years ago, one of our officers notified us that they had a passenger that had a baboon skull," Brewer told the local news outlet. "We’ve had whole sides of cows literally shoved into big canvas bags… the smells are interesting sometimes of the stuff we encounter."