Four yak skulls confiscated at Sea-Tac Airporton May 10, 2012 @ 1:06 pm (Updated: 2:32 pm - 5/10/12 )
A traveler returning from Tibet didn't think he had anything to hide.
"He proceeds to say, 'Well, I have some yak skulls I picked up while I was in Tibet,'" described Luca Furnare, with the Seattle Field Office for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The traveler told Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists he found two of the skulls while hiking and bought two more at a village store.
Furnare said that the two skulls bought at the store were clean, but the two the man had found while hiking were still covered in bits of dried flesh. It was that smell that got the attention of the federal beagle, Woody.
While the traveler won't get to keep the skulls, he did declare them as souvenirs, so he won't be prosecuted.
Furnare said the skulls were destroyed under high-pressure steam to prevent the introduction of animal diseases, particularly foot-and-mouth disease, into the United States.
"People need to know what they can and can't bring in the U.S. because something like this, that [the traveler] paid good money for and was excited about, we're going to take them and he can't have them," said Furnare.
Four yak skulls may seem like an oddity coming through border control, but it's not the weirdest thing Funare said he's come across.
"We've seen things like homemade snake wine," he said. If you're wondering what the recipe for snake wine is, Furnare said the beverage usually contains cut up snakes, lizards, various endangered species, and usually some type of bird.
97.3 KIRO FM reporter Tim Haeck and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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