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Tickle me, smuggler

Nobody would ever suspect a “Sesame Street” character of shenanigans. Maybe that’s why a California couple chose to hide two live parrots inside an Elmo doll as theyattemptedto cross the U.S.-Mexico border on July 1 into San Luis, Arizona. Border officials subjected the couple to a search upon finding they had brought back mangoes with seeds — a no-no. The X-ray machine then revealed the birds inside the toy “chirping away.” The exotic avian travelers were placed in quarantine, and the unnamed couple was fined $300. The fruit was thrown out.

Human Heads in Cargo: Craziest Things Smuggled Through Customs

Yahoo TravelJuly 18, 2014

And you thought forgetting to toss that half-full bottled water was bad. In February, border officials at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 discovered 13 San Salvador rock iguanas stuffed into socks and packed into a suitcase.

Native to the Bahamas, the endangered lizards were illegally transported by two “highly intelligent, well-travelled” young women, according to the Telegraph. The animals have an estimated black market value of more than $444,000.

Of the 13 rare creatures — just a few hundred are believed to exist — 12 survived the flight from the Bahamas to London. To prevent any further casualties, the dozen were upgraded from cargo to coach for their British Airways flight back to their native habitat on July 9. No word on what movie they watched.

This is just one of the many strange items that brazen travelers have tried to sneak across international borders. From a mischievous monkey, to human heads, here are some of the bizarre things people have tried to smuggle through customs.