Customs Find Spooky Surprise in Philippines

To be sure, customs officials see some bizarre things in their line of work. However, an unexpected batch of hundreds of live tarantulas might be a new one.

A package shipped from Poland and opened by Philippines customs contained an amazing seven hundred and fifty seven live tarantulas hidden inside boxes of cookies and oatmeal that had been gift wrapped to conceal their creepy content. Of the five hundred some spiders, babies were found plastic vials with air holes while adults where in larger plastic containers.

The shipment was valued at bout $5,900 (that’s for the tarantulas, not the cookies) by the Philippine Bureau of Customs when they examined the contraband at a mail exchange center near the Manila airport. The Filipino man who came to claim his so-declared “collection items he was arrested on the spot.

This is not the first in a recent barrage of illegal wildlife smuggling in the Philippines. While the country requires permits to trade and possess such creatures as tarantulas, as one might suspect this doesn’t do much to stop persistent black-market traders. Reports of hundreds of incidents come just from Manila where larger and more exotic wildlife like iguanas, chameleons and bearded dragons are regularly found being smuggled illegally.