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

Chris Wilkinson column: An ode to my caregiver

You help keep me safe. You help keep me strong.

Stevenson reflects on her seven years as Chemainus Elementary School principal

Strong community and parent support for the school always evident during her tenure

Drivesmart column: Advisory bike lanes: what should you do?

Imagine a narrow road that has no markings at all used by drivers

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Most Read