74°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Live finches being smuggled into US in hair rollers discovered

NEW YORK — Customs officials at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport say they found 70 live finches hidden inside hair rollers.

Authorities say a passenger arriving from Guyana on Saturday had the songbirds in a duffel bag.

The New York Times reports officials believe the birds were brought to the U.S. to participate in singing contests. Customs officials say people bet on how many times the finches chirp, and a winning male finch can sell for up to $10,000.

The birds were turned over to veterinarians to the U.S. Agriculture Department, and the passenger was sent back to Guyana.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says bird smuggling could threaten agriculture through the possible spread of diseases such as bird flu.

Customs officers have seized about 184 finches this year.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Historic tank turns lemon-lime yellow in error

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — A Korean War era tank owned by the West Virginia National Guard has turned bright lemon-lime yellow. The reason was a mystery until the sponsor of a science fiction club at Bluefield State College owned up to the mistake in a letter to The Bluefield Daily Telegraph .

Tornado kills 2, injures 29 others in Oklahoma

The twister crossed an interstate and walloped the American Budget Value Inn before ripping through the Skyview Estates trailer park.