(CNN) — US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers inspecting luggage at Washington Dulles International Airport recently discovered an unusual find: three and a half pounds of bat meat.
In addition to bat meat, the traveler was also carrying prohibited plants in his luggage, including 12 pounds of tetraplura (a flowering plant from West Africa), turkey berries (yellow-green, pea-sized berries), and eggplants, authorities said.
The plants were seized and destroyed, and the meat was turned over to the CDC for further inspection, the CBP said. The traveler was released.
“Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists play a very challenging frontline role in protecting the public, our nation’s agricultural industries, and our economic vitality every day against the deliberate or accidental introduction of potentially crippling animal diseases that may be carried in passenger baggage,” Daniel Escobedo, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Washington, DC, said in the release.
A bat’s skeleton can be seen in the bottom left in this x-ray image of the traveler’s baggage
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Despite these concerns, the bushmeat trade continues to grow due to food insecurity, among other issues.