Belfast Telegraph

Man arrested after vulture chicks and eggs seized at Heathrow Airport

The chicks and eggs are now being cared for at a specialist facility.

Two vulture chicks and more than a dozen eggs containing rare and endangered species have been seized at Heathrow Airport.

Border Force officers seized 19 eggs in total, two of which had already hatched, from an Irish man who had arrived on a flight from South Africa.

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Two of the eggs had already hatched (Home Office/PA)

While the exact species have not yet been identified, the eggs, which had been concealed within a body belt, are from South African birds of prey including vultures, eagles, hawks and kites, the Home Office said.

Border Force specialist officers identified that the eggs, seized on Tuesday, were protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The chicks and eggs are being cared for at a specialist facility, the Home Office added.

The 56-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of importation of an item prohibited under the customs and excise management act and bailed pending further inquiries.

The investigation has been passed to the National Crime Agency.

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