Dolphin skull discovered in baggage at Detroit Metro Airport

Skull was found in unaccompanied bag during screening

CBP Discovers Dolphin Skull in Baggage at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (CBP)

ROMULUS, Mich. – We’ve had some interesting things try to cross through airport security through the years. But this one is something.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported finding “something fishy” in some international baggage at Detroit Metro Airport last week.

The luggage had been inadvertently separated from its owner during transit. While processing re-entry in the U.S., routine x-ray screenings revealed a skull-shaped object in one of the bags. Here’s what that looked like:

CBP Discovers Dolphin Skull in Baggage at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (CBP)

After further examination by CBP and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials, it was determined the skull was from a young dolphin.

CBP said certain fish and wildlife, and products made from them, are subject to import and export restrictions, prohibitions, permits or certificates, as well as other requirements. This includes wild birds, land or marine mammals, reptiles, fish, shellfish, mollusks or invertebrates, and any animal part or product, to include skins, tusks, bone, feathers, or eggs.

“The possession of wildlife items, especially those of protected animals is prohibited,” said Area Port Director Robert Larkin. “We take wildlife smuggling seriously and work closely with our federal partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect wildlife and their habitats.”

The dolphin skull was turned over to Office of Law Enforcement wildlife inspectors within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for further investigation. It’s unclear if the owner of the bag was identified by authorities or if the person will face any charges.

Related: Moth species unseen for 110 years found in passenger’s bag at Detroit Metro Airport

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.