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Man tries to board plane with seal's head

 
 
George
 
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2004 12:36 pm
(Umm... anyone seen SP today?)

From "Boston.com"

In this age of heightened airport security, screeners are under stringent orders to carefully screen baggage for items not suitable for air travel. Yesterday at Logan Airport they discovered one for the books: the severed head of a harbor seal.

Granted, there are no known security risks associated with severed seal heads, but it immediately raised the concerns of airport security agents. They discovered it in a small canvas cooler and immediately notified state and federal authorities, according to Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority.

The head was apparently checked in by a Colorado man in his 40s, officials said. His identity was not released.

The man, who bound for Denver, told investigators that he is a biology professor and that he had found a dead seal on Revere Beach, officials said. He then cut off its head so he could take it home for educational purposes, he told them.

After more than an hour of questioning at the airport by federal and state authorities, investigators said the man was allowed to board a plane -- without the seal's head.

The head is now in the possession of investigators from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement, according to agency spokesman Mark Oswell.

Oswell said the man could face charges under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which carries civil fines of up to $12,000, criminal fines up to $20,000, and possible imprisonment of up to a year. The act, among other things, makes it illegal to disrupt or remove body parts from a dead mammal.

Andy Cohen, a deputy special agent in charge for NOAA's Office for Law Enforcement, said the man could also face prosecution under the Lacey Act, which makes it unlawful to transport any illegal fish or wildlife product and carries possible imprisonment for up to five years and fines up to $20,000.

"He indicated that he was aware he needed a permit and that he didn't have a permit," Cohen said. "He said he wanted it for educational purposes."

Cohen said the case is not connected to a series of dead seals that have turned up in New England with signs of poaching.
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2004 01:14 pm
I don't want to be around here when Sealpoet discovers this thread.

The **** is gonna hit the fan!
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SealPoet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Mar, 2004 02:08 pm
Re: Man tries to board plane with seal's head
Yeah... read it in the Glob this morning. The part that worries me most is...

George wrote:
Oswell said the man could face charges under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which carries civil fines of up to $12,000, criminal fines up to $20,000, and possible imprisonment of up to a year. The act, among other things, makes it illegal to disrupt or remove body parts from a dead mammal.


...about nine years ago a harbor seal washed up in the back yard of the ancestral summer house. Quite dead. I didn't do it.

What I did do is pull it up above the high-water mark, and later in the year, remove the skull, which is on a wall at the ancestral summer house. Am I in deep doo?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

What bothers me is the poaching that was mentioned at the end of the article. This has been going on for a while... Seal carcasses missing parts showing up aroung the New England shores. Apparently, this guy ain't the guy...
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