Smuggling Bugs into the U.S.

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Scott Simon looks at how giant beetles were smuggled into the U.S. from Taiwan. They pose a threat to agriculture.


This week, postal inspectors in Pennsylvania became a bit suspicious when they heard scratching coming from a package shipped from Taiwan and labeled as containing toys, gifts and jellies. They sent the parcel to Philadelphia, where it was X-rayed and opened. Inside, customs agents found more than two dozen enormous beetles, some five to six inches in diameter. Hercules, Rhinoceros and Goliath Beetles, they're called - give you some idea of their size, all of which can be devastating to agriculture and are therefore illegal to ship live.

Some of the bugs were labeled by gender. This suggests they may have been intended for breeding. Stephen Sapp(ph) of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told the Associated Press that the sender and recipient have been identified. Maybe they're 700-pound frogs, and they're still hungry.

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