Man Busted at Canadian Airport With Virtually 5,000 Stay Leeches in a Grocery Bag

A Canadian man has pleaded responsible to smuggling 1000’s of stay medicinal leeches into the nation, bundled up inside a reusable grocery bag, in accordance with the Canadian authorities.


Ippolit Bodounov pays a US$15,000 nice for the slimy heist, and needed to flip over his practically 5,000 leeches to authorities, Setting and Local weather Change Canada mentioned in a press release.

One authorities official instructed CBC Information that the incident was the nation’s “first large-scale unlawful leech import.” Turtles, tortoises, and snakes are way more frequent, he mentioned.

Canadian border brokers first found the smuggling try when a sniffer canine flagged down Bodounov’s bag in Toronto’s Pearson Worldwide Airport in October 2018, CBC Information reported. Contained in the grocery bag had been 10 smaller, dampened fabric baggage containing the leeches.

Nearly all of the seized leeches had been despatched to Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, whereas roughly 240 had been despatched to New York Metropolis’s American Museum of Pure Historical past, ECCC mentioned. The latter museum performed DNA sequencing on the leeches’ guts to find out that the entire animals examined originated within the wild.

Sebastian Kvist, the invertebrate zoology curator on the Royal Ontario Museum, instructed CBC Information that folks have been harvesting medicinal leeches for hundreds of years. These days, they’re typically utilized in “new age medication” as supposed remedies for arthritis ache and baldness – although no scientific proof helps such makes use of, he mentioned.

A lady receives leech remedy on her hand. (Getty Photos/Yawar Nazir)

The leeches are so generally used for medicinal causes that over-harvesting has posed a serious menace to the species, ECCC mentioned.

“Mr. Bodounov had not obtained a allow to import medicinal leeches and was thus charged for the illegal import of a regulated species,” ECCC mentioned. “Canada doesn’t tolerate the exploitation of threatened species for revenue.”

Fortuitously, the Royal Ontario Museum instructed CBC Information that each one the leeches survived their journey.

As for Bodounov, he’s banned from importing or exporting endangered species for one 12 months.

This text was initially printed by Enterprise Insider.

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