A teddy bear sent from England to Australia has been quarantined in case it was bringing diseases or exotic pests into the country.
The soft brown Stoke City bear, complete with red jumper and matching red woolly hat, was sent as a new baby gift.
Caroline Rothwell, 26, posted the toy from her home in Stoke, Staffordshire, to childhood best friend and Stoke City fan Natalie Kinnaird, in her new home of Perth, in Western Australia.
Jobsworths: Caroline Rothwell was mortified when a Stoke City teddy bear sent to her friend Natalie in Australia was quarantined by customs
Now Natalie has been informed she must pay 41 Australian dollars to send the bear back to Britain.
Stunned support worker Caroline explained: 'The bear was a gift from my one-year-old daughter Isabelle to Natalie's new baby son James.
'Natalie has been over to visit me in Stoke a few times and I thought it would be nice to send the new baby something from here.
'But when Natalie told me she had received the parcel she said there was a note saying the bear had been quarantined because it could release dangerous exotic pests or diseases into the country.
I couldn't believe it. It seems ridiculous to think that a stuffed teddy bear could present such a danger.
'I was going to buy a bear from the Stoke City shop, but my daughter already had one so I thought it would be a bit more personal to send the one she had.
'The note said Natalie wasn't allowed to have the bear but she could pay 41 dollars to send it back to me.'
Australia prides itself on its rigid border police - the Customs and Border Protection Service - and it's diligent quarantine unit, called the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.
The quarantine unit operates under the 'Bio-Security' wing of their Department for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (DAFF).
The country is deemed to be one of the toughest to enter in the world, with a no-nonsense immigration policy based on a skills and points tally.
Caroline, who lives with partner Mark Connolly, sent the parcel of gifts last month at her local post office, costing her £15 in postage.
She added: 'I sent the package, which also included some baby clothes, by air mail.
'When I received the letter saying that the Stoke City bear had been taken hostage at the airport because he did not meet Australian quarantine standards, I felt disappointed.
'Caroline and I have been friends for 16 years, and our children have never met, so the Stoke bear was the only bond James and Izzy had.'
The bear is still with customs officials in Australia.
Quarantine rules stipulate that animal matter - including wool and furs, as well as stuffed animals - are not allowed into the country.
Their website also says that 'craft and hobby lines made from animal or plant material' are also banned, or at least must go into temporary quarantine.
A spokeswoman for DAFF, speaking from Canberra, in Australia, said that officials could have been concerned about the woolly jumper the bear was wearing, or possibly the stuffing material.
The spokeswoman said: 'Without investigating the individual case it must be to do with the materials the bear is made from.
'We have a very enviable bio-security status so we do take security very seriously.'