U.S. Customs finds 70 live finches smuggled in hair rollers at JFK

Someone hatched a bird-brained scheme to smuggle finches into the United States, but was nabbed by a crack team of customs officials.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced this week a passenger was stopped Dec. 8 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport after a flight from Georgetown, Guyana.

That’s when officials found 70 live finches hidden in hair rollers during an inspection of a duffel bag.

“CBP Agriculture Specialists are the first line of defense to prevent the introduction of animal diseases that have the potential to cause significant damage to the Nation’s agricultural economy,”  Troy Miller, director of field operations with the agency’s New York field office, said in a statement.

The tiny birds were stuffed into these hair rollers. CBP/Twitter

The discovery is good news for the birds and for the country’s agriculture industry.

In 2015, an outbreak of the bird flu in the United States led to the killing of 50 million commercial turkeys and chickens. It caused about $850-million in losses.

The finches are now under quarantine.

They have been turned over to U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services.

Some of the finches seized at JFK. CBP/Twitter

Officials said the song birds are coveted in the Guyanese community.

There are even contests involving the number of times the birds chirp.

The finches are now under quarantine. CBP/Twitter

Photos U.S. Customs and Border Patrol JFK/Twitter

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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