A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer shows a human brain found in a Canada post shipment in this handout photo. U.S. border officials say they’ve seized a human brain that was found in a Canada Post shipment originating from Toronto. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency says officers found the brain in a clear glass mason jar during a routine check at the crossing between Sarnia, Ont., and Port Huron, Mich., on Valentine’s Day. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo)

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Unusual packages turn up at border crossings every now and then, a U.S. border official said Thursday, but it was still strange for officers to find a human brain in a shipment from Toronto last week.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment during a random inspection on Valentine’s Day, CBP spokesman Kris Grogan said.

The brain was packaged with bubble wrap and what appeared to be paper towel, Grogan said, but without any supporting documentation.

The only description along with the package — which originated in Toronto and was headed for Kenosha, Wis. — was that it contained an “antique teaching specimen.”

“It is a very unique case to open up a package with absolutely no documentation or anything and to find out that it’s a brain,” Grogan said in an interview.

“But I will say, nothing surprises us anymore on some of the things that we do find.”

The organ has since been put into quarantine while the agency investigates, Grogan said.

He said the agency can’t comment further until the investigation is complete.

“But there will be a final determination on what takes place with it,” he said.

Body parts must be registered and documented in detail with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before being sent across the border, Grogan said.

“People need to realize that there’s a lot of documentation that needs to be completed if you want to bring a specimen that has anything to do with the body,” he said, noting specimens like donated organs are frequently sent across the border.

He said a nearby border crossing in Detroit led the nation in handling biological parts.

CBP area port director Michael Fox said in a statement that the brain incident is “just another great example of just one of the many things CBP officers do to protect our nation on a daily basis.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

border agency

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandekamp moving on from Cowichan Capitals

Head coach returns to AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

City of Duncan to consider a 3.16% tax increase for 2020

But council may consider delaying discussion due to COVID-19 crisis

Spike in thefts in Duncan has police issuing advice

Police have noticed an increase in property crime in the Duncan area… Continue reading

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Most Read