LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Seven ivory tusks, a hippopotamus tusk and purses made of ostrich, stingray, crocodile and elephant skins were seized from the luggage of a U.S. citizen arriving from Europe, officials said Monday.
A 63-year-old woman arriving last Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport from Greece via Germany was found in possession of the endangered animal products, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
CBP officers say the woman provided a negative declaration about the items she was bringing into the country, but an X-ray examination revealed a tusk-like object in the box she said was an “elephant tooth” from her dead uncle’s estate.
After consulting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CBP officers confirmed that all 15 items were prohibited from importation under the Endangered Species Act.
The seized items included seven ivory tusks, several of which were carved into statues, a hippopotamus tusk, two ostrich-skin purses, a stingray leather purse, a purse of elephant hide and three crocodile-skin purses.