Biosecurity officers have made a grisly discovery at Auckland Airport, after a traveller attempted to bring a bat's head into New Zealand.
Arriving from Samoa last week, the passenger announced the head with a bizarre excuse.
"The traveller said his family had eaten the rest of the bat in Samoa, and he wanted to show the head to relatives based in New Zealand," says Biosecurity New Zealand passenger manager Craig Hughes.
"You see some strange things carried by passengers in this job - and this one is definitely up there."
The head was in a poor condition, partly mummified with loose flaps of skin.
"It was a biosecurity nightmare," Mr Hughes says.
"Bats have a terrible reputation as disease carriers, and the remains could have harboured hitchhiker pests."
Biosecurity officers seized and destroyed the head.