A man tried to smuggle 14 live snakes through a Chinese border by stuffing the reptiles in his pockets.
He was caught at Futian Port, an entrance on the border between mainland China and Hong Kong, in Shenzhen, south-eastern China.
Agents at Huanggang Customs – on the Chinese side of the border – reportedly noticed the man looking nervous and avoiding eye contact with them. They asked to examine his belongings and ended up finding 14 snakes wrapped up in cotton socks and stockings.
Footage shows the passenger, dressed in black clothing and a white cap, nervously checking his pockets while standing at the checkpoint. The clip then cuts to border staff handling the socks with the snakes dropping out. The reptiles were placed inside plastic containers and handed over to authorities.
Three of the serpents were ball pythons – also known as royal pythons – which are an African species listed as ‘near threatened’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List.
The law requires all animals transported in and out of China to first be quarantined and inspected.
It is not yet clear whether the man was charged with anything.
Laws in China make it clear any animals transported in and out of the country must be inspected and quarantined before they can be legally released.