Black-bear parts, anteaters among wildlife seizures during Cdn enforcement blitz

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OTTAWA — Environment Canada says officers seized dozens of black-bear parts, diet pills made from endangered African plants and the bodies of two scaly anteaters as part of an international blitz targeting smugglers and poachers in June.

The department’s director-general for wildlife enforcement Sheldon Jordan says the anteaters, known as pangolins, are the most trafficked animal in the world but this is the first time officials have found them smuggled into Canada.

Jordan says the two carcasses were seized in Montreal coming in from Cameroon.

That investigation is ongoing and no charges have yet been laid over the pangolins.

Jordan says 18 charges are already on the books over the other flora and fauna, and another dozen are expected, but won’t say against how many people have been charged because of the ongoing probes.

He says the charges include several against American citizens who were caught trying to smuggle black-bear testicles, paws and penis bones across the border after coming to Canada for the spring bear hunt.

The Canadian Press