Scorpions at Charles de Gaulle Airport – level 3

09-10-2015 07:00

It gives a whole new meaning to the term sting operationCustoms officers at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris have seized 115 live scorpions. They had travelled from Cameroon and were en route to the United States.

The arachnids were hidden in two separate shipments. The first shipment of 69 scorpions was discovered on the 18th of September, hidden underneath plastic boxes of centipedes.

The other 46 were found a few days later hidden in plastic cups.

The large scorpions are of the protected species Pandinus Dictator. Luckily for airport staff, their venom is quite mild and human fatalities are unknown.

They were declared as medical research samples, but did not come with the appropriate paperwork that makes it legal to keep and transport them. Authorities believe the scorpions were to be sold on the Internet as “animal companions”.

This was not an isolated incident. In 2014, French customs seized almost 14,000 live animals considered protected species.

Difficult words: sting operation (an operation designed to catch a criminal; a pun because a scorpion can sting you), customs (the place where your bags are checked when you travel abroad), seize (to take something officially), en route (on the way), arachnid (a type if animal like a spider), centipede (a small creature like a worm with a lot of very small legs), species (a kind of animal), staff (a group of people who work together somewhere), venom (poison), fatality (death), considered (which people consider/think about as).



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When you listen to people in your native language, you do not translate. You simply understand. The same has to be in English. When you learn English, you have to learn the whole sentences in context.

Students, who translate English texts, do exercises and do tests are very good at translating, doing exercises and doing tests, but they have problems with understanding English in real life. In real life, nobody waits for your translation. People usually use simple English when they speak but they use it fast. You have to understand with no translation to your native language. If you translate, you cannot be part of communication because you are thinking about the language too much. These words are maybe hard to read but they are true.

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