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Ivory, turkey talon, bobcat skins seized at Yukon-Alaska border; U.S. man charged

The man who claimed the goods faces fines and four criminal charges
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A stock photo of a walrus skull from Alaska found and registered with United States Fish and Wildlife Service. A walrus skull was one of several items seized at the Yukon-Alaska border on May 25.(Wikimedia Commons)

A man has been charged after a vehicle search at the Yukon-Alaska border revealed restricted firearms, animal parts and smuggled ivory.

Two individuals, both residents of the United States, arrived at the border to transit through the Yukon on May 25.

A search of their vehicle resulted in the seizure of seven restricted firearms, one prohibited firearm and 15 corresponding magazines, three bobcat skins, one bear paw, two sealskin hats, seven pieces of whale baleen, two sheep horns, one turkey talon, one bear skull, one walrus skull and a large amount of ivory.

Most of the wildlife goods are protected under one of Canada’s wildlife trade laws, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The man who claimed the goods faces four charges, including unauthorized possession of a firearm, unauthorized possession of prohibited devices, making false statements and smuggling.

He made a first appearance in circuit court in Beaver Creek on July 13.

He has also been fined $8,500 by Border Services for the release of a seized vehicle and two $1,200 fines under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.

“This seizure demonstrates the hard work and diligence of CBSA border services officers and their commitment to keeping firearms out of our communities as well as ensuring that endangered goods, without the proper import requirements, do not enter illegal trade in Canada,” said Darlene Klips, a director with the Canada Border Services Agency, in a release.

(Haley Ritchie)