Sometimes a mystery box contains a gift, and sometimes it holds venomous snakes, spiders, and scorpions. The Australian Border Force found several of these critters still alive in a package marked "2 pair shoes" shipped from Northern Europe this week. After scanning the contents of the package with an x-ray, the authorities held it at customs. Itemizing the contents at the border, they found:
- 3 ball pythons, also known as royal pythons
- 2 hognose snakes
- 6 venomous Wagler’s temple vipers, a species native to South-East Asia
- 2 Colombian giant tarantulas
- 5 Mexican redknee tarantulas
- 2 Brazilian salmon pink tarantulas (the 3rd-largest tarantula in the world)
- 4 Asian forest scorpions
All of the animals that didn't die in transit had to be euthanized at the border because, per Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, they present a serious "biosecurity risk." Basically that means there's no way to account for disease, pests, or other havoc that these non-indigenous creatures could wreak on Australia's ecosystems.
Suffice it to say, sending any exotic, rare, poisonous (or really any non-indigenous) animal to a foreign country in a box...isn't a smart idea. Sending 24 of them is a shit-for-brains move. Neither the sender nor the intended recipient have been named, however, but someone out there probably deserves all the lashings Australia can fling at them.