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

Sidney sets up temporary rest stop for truck drivers transporting critical supplies

Drivers can rest, find washrooms, access nearby restaurants

Interim BC Green Party leader asks people to stay home after parents get positive COVID-19 test

Adam Olsen’s mother and her husband have been in quarantine for two weeks

Sidney mayor updates residents on COVID-19 during virtual forum Sunday

The forum organized by Coun. Peter Wainwright runs March 29 from 2 to 3 p.m.

Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19

Police link jump in domestic, mental health calls to pandemic

VIDEO: Musician stays physically distant in courtyard show for Langford retirees

Bob Nelson found a way to continue to play for retirement community residents

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read