At Airport Lost and Found, an Unusual Reunion

Utah woman has her beloved taxidermy rat back in her possession
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2022 4:50 PM CDT

About a week ago, KSL News in Salt Lake City ran a story about the variety of items that accumulate in the airport's lost-and-found office. As news stories go these days, it was a light piece, focused mainly on what becomes of the thousands of items travelers leave behind on planes and in terminals each year. After a waiting period, articles of clothing are sent to local shelters, while the more valuable unclaimed items eventually go to auction. Inevitably, the staff was asked about odd items they've recovered, like a toy space helmet and a power washer, but one particular item stole the show: a taxidermy rat.

It showed up in the lost and found last August. The staff took a liking to it and decided to display it on the counter. They fitted it with a hat and named it Stuart, after the title character of EB White's classic Stuart Little. While the story might have given most viewers a chuckle, Carrie Paulson "couldn't believe it" when she got wind of it, per KSL News, in a follow-up story. It turns out Paulson had flown from Utah to New York last year and attended a taxidermy class. The rat was her hard-earned souvenir, and she was dismayed to get home and discover it was missing. She and the rat have now been reunited. Paulson promised to return the favor to airport staff, but she insisted on keeping it a surprise. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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