Hippopotamus tusks. Swan meat. Four drums of N-phenethyl-4-piperidinone.

Those were some of the items Canada Border Services officers seized last year at the Edmonton International Airport.

During the year, officers processed more than 850,000 travellers who arrived on 8,450 flights. They seized numerous shipments of drugs, more than $423,000 in cash and some rather exotic items.

In August, officers examined a package that originated in South Africa that contained, according to the declaration, 10 replica hippopotamus tusks. Border services officers saw growth marks and discoloration that led them to believe the tusks were real. The owner surrendered them.

On April 17, a detector dog named Max sniffed one couple's bags and found 2.5 kg of swan meat, 5.5 kg of chicken, dried chrysanthemum flowers, ginger root, dried fish, dried fruit, and seeds.

The couple paid a penalty of $650.

CBSA officers in Edmonton made 87 narcotics seizures last year. Among the seizures were 30 litres of gamma-butyrolactone acid, a precursor chemical used to make the date-rape drug. They also seized four drums that contained 102 kg of N-phenethyl-4-piperidinone, a precursor chemical used in the illicit manufacture of fentanyl.

Officers also made:

  • 22 currency seizures, with a total value of more than $423,000;
  • three child pornography seizures, and;
  • seven weapons seizures, including nunchuks, switchblades and throwing stars.