The Canada Border Services Agency says officers discovered two live tarantulas hidden inside plastic containers at the Edmonton International Airport earlier this year.
In May, officers saw irregularities in a small package from Hong Kong and found a male tarantula hidden inside a plastic container.
Weeks later, an inspection of another package from the same shipper found a female spider hidden inside a children’s toy plane.
It turns out the species of tarantula, which is native to Hong Kong, did not require permits to import into Canada.
But the agency says the spiders were seized because they weren’t transported humanely.
They have since found a new home at the Royal Alberta Museum.
The agency says all living creatures, including pets, must be declared when importing them into Canada in order to avoid spreading disease and introducing foreign species.
“CBSA officers were able to find and rescue these two tarantulas from inhumane shipping methods. All living creatures need to be transported and imported properly to keep Canada’s ecosystem and biodiversity safe,” said Lisa Laurencelle-Peace, the agency’s regional director of the Prairie region.
“The CBSA works closely with its enforcement partners, including (Environment and Climate Change Canada) enforcement officers, to keep Canada’s border secure and stop the illegal wildlife trade.”