On September 23, a 'young man from Hong Kong' was caught at the Luohu border attempting to bring 61 snakes and frogs, some of which are highly poisonous, hidden inside a storage box into Shenzhen.
Fortunately, the Luohu Inspection and Quarantine Bureau were able to get their hands on the box and assess its contents. The snakes, surprisingly, turned out to be relatively harmless: the 10 albino reptiles, one California king snake and nine corn snakes, are all non-venomous.
Fifteen poison dart frogs found in the shipment, however, are among the most dangerous animals in the world. The frogs' glands secrete a toxin that affects the nervous system, paralyzing and killing their victims. According to the Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, 1 gram of dart frog poison is strong enough to kill 15,000 people.
The box also contained 25 red-eyed tree frogs and one waxy monkey tree frog, all non-toxic. Together, the value of the animals is estimated to be around RMB30,000.
You wouldn't have been able to tell from looking, though. Inside the storage box, the animals were separated into multiple tupperware containers with holes poked in the top, grade school style, and sealed with tape.
The man caught carrying the box full of creepy crawlers claimed to have been hired by smugglers.
“He said the smugglers told him there were snakes and frogs inside, as for their origin, where they were going and whether or not they were poisonous, he wasn’t clear," a representative of the Inspection and Quarantine Bureau said.
Whether or not he was part of the crew that procured the animals in the first place, the man will be subject to Chinese criminal law for attempting to smuggle living creatures into the mainland.
The 61 frogs and snakes were seized by the Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, and the case is still under investigation.