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Snakes, Spiders And Scorpions Found In Smuggled Mail

Should've been shoes!

Snakes, Spiders And Scorpions Found In Smuggled Mail

Image: Dept of Agriculture and Water Resources

Australian Border Force officers got more than they bargained for when x-raying an international consignment of mail from northern Europe.

In a box marked '2 pair shoes' was not two pairs of shoes, but a deadly combination of reptiles and arachnids including six venomous vipers.

Inside the box included:

3 x ball pythons (royal pythons)
2 x hognose snakes
6 x vipers native to South-East Asia
2 x Colombian giant tarantulas
5 x Mexican redknee tarantulas
2 x Brazilian salmon pink tarantulas— considered to be the third-largest tarantula in the world
4 x Asian forest scorpions

The consignment arrived in Melbourne on 14 March with all the vipers, scorpions and some of the spiders already dead.

All the live animals were euthanised by a veterinary officer while an investigation is underway into the arrival of the exotic reptiles and arachnids.