Aussie care package arrives in Alaska with skull and tinned fish instead of gingersnaps and candy

KEY POINTS:
  • Australian expats receive care packages from home ahead of Christmas.
  • An Australian woman in the US was shocked to find what was in her package before Christmas.
  • Australia Post was unable to provide details on what may have happened to the package
Whether it’s Vegemite, Twisties, Tim Tams or Caramello Koalas, Australians living overseas often look forward to receiving care packages full of familiar foods from home.
Around Christmas they are often greeted with even more excitement.
But when Australian Andrea Eastley, who lives in Alaska in the US with her family, opened her ‘Aussie’ package recently, she was surprised to find what was inside.

Her three children were eagerly awaiting their grandmother’s package in Australia, expecting some of their favorite products from home, including cookies and candies, which were in the packaging.

But after opening the package, they were confused.
Inside was what appeared to be the skull of a small animal and a piece of cloth with unknown symbols on it. There was also canned fish, sealed in clear plastic and “wrapped like a mummy.”

“We believe customs had opened the package to inspect it and put the wrong things back in,” Eastley said.

Composite image of a fish wrapped in plastic, a small animal skull and a piece of cloth with a diagram and symbols.

These were the items sent to the Eastley family in Alaska instead of the Australian food they were expecting. Source: supplied

The US Postal Service (USPS) website confirms that customs officers can open international packages for examination, stating that “after customs processing, the customs officer will repackage and seal the mail.”

Ms Eastley wasn’t sure if the skull was real, but said she couldn’t find any kind of trademark stamp. It also had some dirt on it.

The children’s grandmother had assured them that when she hung it up she put cookies, candy and salsa in the package.

Australia Post was unable to provide details about what may have happened to the package when contacted by SBS News, other than to confirm that its system had registered the package arriving in the US in early October, almost two months before it was delivered to family in Alaska.

What appears to be a skull of a small animal.

An animal skull was not what this Australian family expected in their care package from home. Source: supplied

Ms. Eastley said she had emailed the USPS about the strange delivery and planned to take the items to the post office after Christmas, when the queues had died down.

December is traditionally the busiest month of the year for parcel delivery in Australia and Australia Post expects to handle tens of millions of parcels this month.

Last year the service delivered 52 million packages in December. Australia Post extended deliveries to Saturdays before Christmas and could be busy in the days after Christmas, delivering packages that had not been sent by the suggested delivery deadlines of December 25.
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