Sharp airport officials have prevented a lion claw and tooth from being brought into New Zealand.
The man bought the items at a local market after travelling in the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya.
He declared them upon arrival at Auckland International Airport, only to find they were both a biosecurity risk and a breach of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
“From a biosecurity perspective, the items could have been carrying rabies or dangerous parasites,” Ministry of Primary Industries operational support coordinator Steve Gay said.
Young Maasai men once had to prove their manhood by killing a lion armed with only a spear but the lions are now protected.
Because of the issue about trading in lion parts, the tooth and claw are being kept by MPI for staff training once they have been treated.
“It’s fantastic the items will now end up helping MPI maintain and enhance its ongoing vigilance at the border,” Mr Gay said.
The passenger was not fined as he had declared the items.
Read more: Lion parts stopped by biosecurity staff – Story – Environment/Sci – 3 News http://www.3news.co.nz/Lion-parts-stopped-by-biosecurity-staff/tabid/1160/articleID/294458/Default.aspx#ixzz2QcCoAWls