Customs officials in New York said a "snakes on a plane" situation wasn't discovered until later, when five live snakes and three geckos were found in a package.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection said officers at the John F. Kennedy International Mail Facility investigated a package from Hong Kong on June 29 that was labeled as containing a "plastic tray" but appeared to contain snakes in round containers when X-ray images were taken.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel were called in to open the outer box, which revealed Styrofoam casing with rows of holes for apparent ventilation.

The FWS officials discovered the parcel contain five juvenile king cobras and three geckos, all of which were alive.

"Our CBP officers perform numerous daily tasks to protect the United States from potential dangers. This seizure demonstrates our wide ranging responsibility in protecting our borders and our partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service," said Leon Hayward, acting director of CBP's New York Field Operations.

The package and the animals were turned over to FWS for further investigation.