K9 boosts illegal wildlife seizures by 65 percent at Anchorage airport

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ANCHORAGE, Ak (KTUU) - Investigators for U.S. Fish and Wildlife at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage say that there was a 65 percent increase in the number of investigations performed on cargo shipments. Out of 342 investigations, there were more than 160 seizures of items.

Chris Andrews is one of the supervisors for U.S. Fish & Wildlife and says that a total of 392 items were discovered undeclared. Andrews and a small team of inspectors, including a K-9 unit, are the last line of defense in preventing illegal trade sales and shipments from coming and going out of Anchorage International, one of the world’s biggest and busiest cargo hubs.

"I don't see it going away anytime soon and the species list of endangered species continues to grow," said Andrews.

On a table inside of a room located at the north terminal of the airport, Andrews laid out some of the wild items seized this year by investigators and their K-9, a rescued shelter dog named Doc.

"For me and Chris to look through 40 boxes would take us hours if not a day. I can run him and do 40 on a belt in seconds," said Chris Hornbaker, U.S. Fish & Wildlife K-9 handler for Doc.

To learn more about some of the items seized both here in Anchorage and around the U.S. check out the National Wildlife Property Repository website.

You can also watch a video provided by U.S. Fish & Wildlife on the underground world of illegal trade.

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