ATLANTA–U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists working at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) discovered a live giant African millipede that “hitchhiked” onboard a traveler’s suitcase from Africa.
“Regal,” a member of the CBP Beagle Brigade on duty at ATL, alerted to a traveler’s checked bag at the international arrival baggage claim area. During further inspection, a CBP Agriculture Specialist (CBPAS) found the live millipede inside a suitcase. The couple arrived on a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa and were destined for South Carolina.
The nearly six-inch African millipede was collected and secured as CBP is working with U.S. Departure of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to arrange for a local insectarium to take the millipede.
“CBP is on the frontline 24/7, searching for anything entering our country that could potentially harm our citizens,” said Carey Davis Atlanta CBP Area Port Director. “Our beagle sniffing out this millipede highlights how valuable our canine members are to protecting the U.S.”
The couple was unsure how the millipede found its way into their baggage and was grateful to go home without the unwanted hitchhiker. CBPAS have been on the frontline at Ports of Entry nationwide inspecting shipments, cargo and baggage for any possible hitchhiking pests that may pose a threat to the U.S. agriculture industry.
CBP Agriculture Specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day nationally, they inspect more than 1 million people as well as air, land and sea cargo imported to the United States, and intercept 4,638 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 352 agriculture pests and diseases.