Feb 22, 2006

Jason Clarke, Staff Writer, The Express-Star


When Chickasha Lumber Company employee Jeannie Douglas opened a shipment of gloves for the store Tuesday morning, she expected to find 480 pairs of gloves.

Instead she only found 48 pairs of gloves thrown on top of what is believed to be the skull of a hippopotamus.

"They've sent us wrong stuff before, but I never expected something like this," Douglas said.

After removing it from the box, Douglas said she had to get her boss because she didn't think he would believe her if she told him what she had found.

Store manager Steve Smart said customer Brannon Bordwine helped identify the skull. In his experience with big game hunting, Bordwine said he thought it was the skull of a hippo. He later brought a photo of a complete hippo skull, which strongly resembles Douglas' find.

Douglas said Bordwine estimated the skull's value between $1,000 and $2,000 because it is missing its lower jaw. If complete, Bordwine reportedly said the skull could be worth $5,000.

The only identifying mark on the skull, however, is a small handwritten sold sticker on the back of the skull.

Smart said the shipping company has requested the entire shipment be returned in the original box for investigative purposes. Douglas said the box should have contained a cardboard display filled with gloves.

Instead the bottom of the box had been removed and was replaced with a layer of packing tape. Also inside the box with the skull was a cylinder off of an office chair.

While the gloves are made in China, Douglas said the package came in from shippers in Dallas.

Smart said the company has issued a ticket for the return of the box. He said the boxed would be shipped as soon as that ticket arrived here, which could be as early as today or tomorrow.

The company has reportedly promised to replace the missing gloves.