Dublin, Ireland, December 14, 2007—
Two endangered emperor scorpions were among a cache of creepy creatures that startled customs workers at Dublin's airport this week.
The scorpions were found with nearly 80 tarantulas, snakes, and toads in a box labeled "aquatic plants" that had aroused suspicion among inspectors.
The package had been shipped from the United States and was destined for an exotic pet shop in western Ireland.
Two other emperor scorpions died during transit, officials said.
The scorpions are native to West Africa and are listed as endangered by the UN Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
In its official listing of the fearsome-looking creatures, CITES notes that emperor scorpions are "unusually docile" and rarely sting, which has made them popular in the pet trade.
"They don't make much noise and are very good with children," the listing notes.
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