Dolphin Skull Confiscated at Detroit Airport From Unattended Luggage
It's about 600 miles, as the Crow Flies, to get from Detroit to the closest access of the Atlantic Ocean. This makes bringing oceanic animals and items a little difficult.
But, nonetheless, someone did manage to make it to an airport in Detroit with something you've likely only ever seen in a museum - a Dolphin skull.
Customs officers at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport say an unaccompanied suitcase made it to an X-Ray machine before they realized there was something "fishy" inside.
(note: I know dolphins are mammals, but for the sake of the joke, just... roll with it)
"Upon routine X-Ray of an unaccompanied suitcase, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents discovered a skull-shaped object inside, prompting further examination by border security and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials, who determined the object was the skull of a young dolphin."
The Detroit Free Press says the baggage had been separated from its owner during transit and was screened when reentering the United States.
Now, first of all, this is odd. No denying that. But customs caught this as the skull was coming INTO the United States. That means someone originally had to check the luggage from wherever they were flying from in the first place.
That means, somewhere in the world (wherever this came from), this luggage had ALREADY been checked... someone already investigated this suitcase, and said "nah... all good."
Dolphins are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and listed as an endangered species. So, simply having something from a dolphin is a HUGE no-no!
So HOW did it even get THIS far?
"The possession of wildlife items, especially those of protected animals is prohibited. We take wildlife smuggling seriously and work closely with our federal partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect wildlife and their habitats." - Detroit Area Port Director Robert Larkin
The X-Ray of the bag does look like there was mostly padding around the skull, so it was definitely put in with some care, and not just haphazardly dumped into a suitcase for transport. Also, it does appear there are other items in the suitcase with the skull, but it's unlikely it's the owner's dirty laundry.
For now, it remains a mystery, and officials still aren't sure where the luggage originally came from. But it can't be THAT hard to track down an airport that recently scanned in luggage containing a Dolphin Skull... right?
Seems very... "fishy."
(Again, I realize dolphins are mammals, but "something seems Mammal-y just doesn't have the same ring to it.)