Bat’s head from Samoa seized at Auckland airport

The bat's head was in poor condition and partly mummified.

AUCKLAND, 05 JULY 2018 (PACIFIC RADIO NEWS) – A bat’s head from Samoa was seized at Auckland International Airport last week off a traveller from Apia.

The traveller said his family had eaten the rest of the bat in Samoa and he wanted to show the head to his relatives in New Zealand.

Biosecurity New Zealand says the head was in a poor condition – partly mummified with loose flaps of skin.

Passenger manager Craig Hughes says they’ve seen some strange things from passengers and this incident is definitely up there on the list.

“It was a biosecurity nightmare. Bats have a terrible reputation as disease carriers and the remains could have harboured hitchhiker pests.”

The bat’shead has been destroyed.

Hughes says he applauds the traveller’s actions in declaring the risk items.

“It’s what we want from all arriving international travellers. It’s about everyone doing their bit to protect New Zealand, not to mention avoiding a stiff fine or other enforcement action, said Hughes.