A man has been fined for attempting to smuggle threatened baby lizards across the B.C. border.
The Canada Border Services Agency a 32-year-old man named Gregory Anderson tried to smuggle six baby “ornate mastigure” lizards into Canada at the Abbotsford-Huntingdon border last October by hiding them in the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt.
The animals are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and require a permit to import into Canada.
Sentencing documents show Anderson, who worked in a lizard store, had crossed the border specifically to acquire the lizards, only learning it would be illegal to bring them back into Canada once he’d picked them up.
Despite that, they say he intentionally denied having any plants or animals to declare multiple times, all the while having the tiny passengers on his person.
They were discovered by a border services officer and Anderson was subsequently charged with two offences.
He was fined $6,000 after pleading guilty to both counts, $5,000 of which will go to the Environmental Damages Fund.
The CBSA says there were 42 animal seizures made at the Abbotsford border crossing from 2011 to October of this year.