Did you hear the one about the fellow who was caught with turtles down his pants? It sounds like a joke doesn't it? Well, it isn't.
Back in 2014 a man decided he wanted to bring a few turtles home with him from a trip. He purchased them in the United States and tried to take them home to Canada. At the boarder he ran into a problem when they discovered he had 38 turtles hidden in his pants.
Yes, you read that right. This man was caught illegally transporting 38 turtles in his pants as he crossed the border. He placed them in bags and taped the bags to his legs under his pants. Although there was never any indication of the turtles size, it was stated he carried 5 different varieties of turtles. That sounds like an awkward method to move life stock. It would have been hard to walk.
At the Niagara Falls crossing, he was arrested by the Canadian government and charged with illegally importing reptiles into Canada.
The man was convicted in February 2016. As a sentence, he received a two year probation, a fine of $3500 Canadian, has been banned from owning reptiles for the next two years and is required to perform 50 hours of community service.
Apparently, he's not the only one who has tried this and been arrested. This past December another man was caught trying to import 50 turtles by taping them to his leg and ended up in front of a federal court in Michigan.
What is interesting is that a person can import turtles into Canada if they have the correct paperwork. From what I read, the man should have gotten:
1. Apply for a permit from Canada.
2. Own the turtle for 3 months prior to importing.
3. $35 per species of turtle unless the turtle looks sick and then it costs $185 per species vet bill.
4. Only the person who applied for the permit can bring the turtle into the country. The permit does not allow you to breed or sell the turtle.
5. The importer must also fill out the appropriate US documents and the turtle must pass an examination before leaving America.
There is a market for turtles in both the pet and food trades in Canada so I'm guessing he didn't want to go through the legal process so chose to try to import them illegally. As a result of incidents such as this, both
the Canadian and American governments are working together to eliminate this type of illegal activity.
I still can't get the image of turtles down his pants out of my mind. Its just too funny.