Polish customs officers have intercepted a package posted from Hong Kong containing 39 scorpions — 32 of them still alive — addressed to a student in Poland’s south-western city of Wroclaw.
The scorpions were in a small package purportedly containing toys valued at 12 euros (US$17), according to the customs declaration made for the parcel by the sender, spokesperson for Customs Poland, Aldona Wegrzynowicz told AFP.
“We usually check packages we have doubts about, for example ones where the declared value does not correspond with the declared content. This time we had a hunch,” she said.
A vet called in by customs officials identified the creatures as Mesobuthus martensii-type scorpions, a moderately dangerous variety. Those which survived the long journey will be placed in a zoo.
Police questioned the 24-year-old student to whom the package was addressed. He admitted to an interest in exotic animals and wanted to add the scorpions to his collection.
He could face a fine of up to 50,000 zloty (US$15,905) for having violated customs laws protecting animals.