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Snakes on a plane – almost – at JFK airport; officers seize live King Cobras

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JAMAICA, Queens —Snakes were very nearly on a plane.

U. S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized five live King Cobras during an inspection at the John F. Kennedy International Mail Facility, a spokes person announced Tuesday. An X-ray of a package from Hong Kong showed juvenile snakes slithering around inside.

The officers contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, officials said. Together, they opened the package and found the live King Cobra snakes inside. There were also three geckos in the package.

King Cobras are a venomous species of snake.

Customs gave the package of snakes and geckos to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Our CBP officers perform numerous daily tasks to protect the United States from potential dangers.  This seizure demonstrates our wide ranging responsibility in protecting our borders and our partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Leon Hayward, acting director of CBP’s New York Field Operations.