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A partly mummified bat head has been stopped from entering the country at Auckland Airport, after a traveller, who wanted to show New Zealand relatives, declared the bat body part.
Biosecurity New Zealand passenger manager Craig Hughes said the passenger was travelling from Apia, Samoa, and said his family had eaten the rest of the bat.
He had declared the bat head to Biosecurity New Zealand staff when he arrived in Auckland.
"It was a biosecurity nightmare. Bats have a terrible reputation as disease carriers and the remains could have harboured hitchhiker pests."
The head was partly mummified and was said to have loose pieces of skin hanging off.
“You see some strange things carried by passengers in this job and this one is definitely up there," Mr Hughes said.
He said he appreciated the passenger's declaration of the bat head. "It's what we want from all arriving international travellers."
The head has been destroyed by Biosecurity officiers.