Jars full of slimy leeches — certain for 3 states — have been seized by customs officers in Philadelphia final month.
About 300 blood-sucking parasites arrived in six shipments from Bulgaria between Feb. 19 and Feb. 25 and have been headed to locations in Connecticut, Florida and Illinois, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Philadelphia said in a news release this week.
“Customs and Border Protection officers and agriculture specialists often encounter unique and interesting things, like this jar full of icky bloodsuckers, while inspecting goods being imported to the United States,” Joseph Martella, CBP’s space port director in Philadelphia stated in the discharge.
The leeches have been confiscated for violating the US Endangered Species Act, which prohibits the unlicensed commerce of protected wildlife.
The company stated the leeches have been of a species generally used in “medical bloodletting treatment.”
“CBP officers remain committed to collaborating with federal, state and local law enforcement partners to intercept shipments that violate our nation’s laws and potentially threaten harm to our nation’s citizens and our economy,” Martella stated.