A shocked woman got a surprise guest Thursday while airing out her home — when a 10-inch Chinese mitten crab scurried in through an open terrace door.
Police in Freiburg, Germany, said they received a report of a “giant” home invader in the nearby town of Unterlauchringen, near the Swiss border, the Associated Press reported. But before they made the scene, the woman had already captured the crustacean under an upside-down garbage can.
Officers were then able to place the sneaky shellfish — which are not edible — into a container and take it to a local veterinary clinic.
The invasive species, native to Asia, is now found in many bodies of water in Germany, and the woman’s residence was not far from the Rhine River, though the Chinese mitten crab has never been reported in the area before, according to the AP.
The highly-invasive crabs can damage ecosystems by fighting with local crustaceans for food and territory, as well as by interfering with commercial fishing — but they are not considered dangerous to humans.
But this is just the latest crabby international incident.
Mitten crabs made headlines stateside in January, when dozens of shipments containing 3,700 live ones were seized by US Customs and Border Protection officials in Cincinnati — in boxes labeled as tools and clothing.
The 51 packages, weighing about 3,400 pounds, came from China and Hong Kong and were being smuggled to homes and businesses in multiple states — including New York, the CBP said in a news release.
Mitten crabs are a seasonal delicacy in Asia and sell for about $50 a piece in the US — but it’s illegal to import them because they can harm native wildlife.
“As a unified border agency, CBP is committed to a fully integrated approach toward international security,” said Cincinnati CBP Supervisory Agriculture Specialist Barbara Hassan. “In this case, we worked closely with [U.S. Fish and Wildlife] to stop a serious threat to our economy and ecology.”
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