Live birds found in Elmo doll at US-Mexico border

Associated Press
FILE: Elmo doll
File photo: The Chicken Dance Elmo doll is seen in the FAO Schwarz store December 12, 2002 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

SAN LUIS, Ariz. (AP) — Federal agents inspecting a couple's belongings at an Arizona entry port on the U.S.-Mexico border found two live parrots hidden inside an Elmo doll.

The Customs and Border Protection says agriculture specialists found the birds on July 1 after cutting open the doll when an X-ray revealed something unusual about the contents.

The seized birds were placed in quarantine and transferred to a Department of Agriculture holding facility, while the couple was fined $300.

The border agency says birds entering the country are regulated because they can carry viral and bacterial diseases.