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Bear Grylls seized by customs

Customs and DOC are both warning travelers that Bear Grylls, such as the one pictured here, are a serious threat to New Zealand's biosecurity

Customs and DOC are both warning travelers that Bear Grylls, such as the one pictured here, are a serious threat to New Zealand’s biosecurity

A British man was arrested late yesterday afternoon after attempting to smuggle a fully grown Bear Grylls into New Zealand.

The man, who had flown into Auckland International Airport from the United Kingdom, was detained after he failed to declare Bear Grylls on his passenger arrival card. Specifically, the man had ticked “No” to the question Are you carrying, in your possession, any item or animal that is a known biosecurity threat, such as a snake or a Bear Grylls?

Bear Grylls have become an increasingly serious environmental concern in recent years, with the Department of Conservation reporting more than four hundred annual sightings of Bear Grylls in the South Island alone. Witnesses report that the British adventurer has been known to terrorize local wildlife and disturb native fauna, as well as force the closure of walking tracks and public reserves.

But some in the public were upset by news of the seizure, fearing that they might no longer get to see Grylls’ popular television series, Man vs. Wild.

The New Zealand Customs Service quickly dismissed those concerns as irrelevant.

“While we understand that many New Zealanders like to see a grown man play make-believe in the forest, the fact remains that Bear Grylls are a significant biosecurity threat” said customs chief executive Carolyn Tremain. “With its helicopters, climbing equipment and team of on-hand medical practitioners, Bear Grylls sports an unfair, insurmountable predatory advantage in the wild. While many may be under the impression that the Bear Grylls is in constant danger, the reality is that, realistically, it will never die.”

“Anyone who brings a Bear Grylls into this country needs to be aware that they must declare it” she added. “And if they fail to do so, they will be liable for that Bear Grylls.”

Following its seizure yesterday, the Bear Grylls was taken to a secure customs facility where it was destroyed.