A Palestinian man was detained for questioning Monday at the Allenby border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan when customs inspectors discovered he was smuggling approximately 40 goldfinches in a pair of fishnet stockings he was wearing.
The stockings, with a floral design, appeared to have been chosen to allow the birds to breathe.
According to Channel 10 news, the suspect will be questioned by Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority.
“We view with great severity attempts to smuggle animals of any kind and work around the clock to eradicate the phenomenon,” said Maj. Hadi Khatib, the Civil Administration’s commander at the crossing.
Goldfinches are a small bird native to the region and prized for their singing. They are often bred with canaries in order to produce a more pleasant singing voice.
Last year two Palestinian minors were caught at the same crossing trying to smuggle dozens of goldfinches into the West Bank. The two had stashed the birds in their pants.
In December 2016, guards at the Allenby crossing caught four Palestinians trying to smuggle more than 100 goldfinches to the West Bank.