The importance of the hand luggage inspection area at airports simply cannot be underestimated. Sure, they’re time consuming and can be an irritating experience for frequent fliers, but without them it would be impossible to ensure the safety of passengers on board aircraft. However, despite procedures becoming ever more stringent in recent years, it hasn’t stopped some passengers looking for ways to slip prohibited items past security. At one Chinese airport, for example, one man recently tried a quite bizarre tactic to smuggle his pet turtle onto the plane: pretending it was a hamburger.

When the security guard inspected this man’s carry-on items as they went through the scanner, he noticed something unusual inside the paper KFC bag the man had been carrying with him. On closer inspection, the strange object actually looked like the leg of a living creature…

Hamburger with feet

The incident occurred at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport in Guangdong Province on July 29 at approximately 10 a.m. The man who expected to board a plane for Beijing was stopped at the hand luggage inspection area.

Everything seemed to be going as planned for the man until the turtle, which was wrapped up inside the paper bag and disguised as a KFC burger, was passed through the x-ray machine. Immediately recognising the strange object appearing on the monitor, guard asked the man, “It’s a turtle isn’t it?” To which the man replied flatly, “No, it’s a hamburger.”

China is no different to other countries around the world in that bringing animals into the cabin of the plane is strictly prohibited. It is just as strict as Japan in the sense that there are stringent procedures you have to follow in bringing your pet with you. What’s more, the pet is placed in a separate hold inside of the plane itself.

Apparently the guard tried his best to make the man admit that he was trying to carry a turtle through the inspection, but the traveller kept on insisting that it was a hamburger. What made the incident look even more suspicious is that the man wouldn’t even let the guard inspect the supposed food item. Eventually, after a lot of questioning he confessed to what he was really trying to smuggle through.

Couldn’t bear to be parted

When questioned why he tried to smuggle the turtle through, the man replied that he couldn’t bear to part with the pet he loved so much, commenting, “I really didn’t think I’d get caught. I thought the plan was foolproof.”

If there’s a lesson to be learnt from this it has got to be that, however much you love your pet, smuggling it on board just isn’t going to work, and chances are your pet will be quite stressed out by the entire process. Oh, and if anyone’s worried about what happened to the little fella, the good news is that after a lot of persuading, the guard allowed the man to leave it with a friend at the airport. Hopefully he’ll find a new home soon!
[ Read in Japanese ]