Montreal Woman Tried to Smuggle Polar Bear, Sloth and Crocodile Skulls to U.S.


A Montreal woman is in custody in Vermont after trying to smuggle animal parts into the U.S. Vanessa Rondeau, owner of a curiosity shop called The Old Cavern Boutique in Montreal, fell into a trap set by a Fish and Wildlife Service agent who tried to buy a polar bear skull for around $800. Rondeau, taking the bait, agreed to meet the undercover agent, bringing with her a cache of carcasses, including a three-toed sloth, 18 crocodile skulls and feet, a human skull mounted “with butterflies” and six shark jaws, CBC reports. The U.S. Endangered Species Act protects sloth and crocodile parts. Rondeau crossed the U.S. border by car carrying with her 23 raccoon feet, eight African antelope horns, four puffer fish and 30 sea stars, according to the arrest warrant. The complaint also alleges that Rondeau came to the U.S. 18 times between November 2018 and September 2019, often between midnight and 2 a.m. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also confiscated parcels she sent to presumed buyers in the U.S, including those containing a weasel and a bat along with a zebra pelt.

Read it at CBC