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Sask. company fined $60K after seizure of taxidermy mounts including hippo, giraffe, mountain lion


A Saskatchewan company fined for illegally importing taxidermized animals produced an online reality show that showed employees posing with forbidden fauna. 

OSY Rentals, a company that provides oilfield rentals based in Major, Sask. —  a small village about 200 kilometres west of Saskatoon — was fined $60,000 for violating laws protecting endangered species, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The agency said the offences relate to importing animal parts without a permit and possessing protected species in violation of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act, which controls the international trade of certain wild animals, and parts of those animals.

The company transported and possessed various taxidermy mounts including a hippopotamus, a giraffe, a mountain lion, two baboons and other species protected under the act, Environment Canada said.

The company has a YouTube page where it publishes a “reality show” called Oh Sh!t Yeah.

An episode titled “Monkey Business,” posted in December 2022, showed employees unboxing taxidermized animals in a trailer, saying someone at the company went on a “shopping spree” and bought the wildlife at an auction in Texas.

The episode was removed from the YouTube channel about an hour after CBC called the company asking for comment on the fine and seizure. 

Oilfield rental company fined for illegal importing of mounted animals

Saskatchewan-based OSY Rentals was given a $60,000 fine after Environment and Climate Change Canada officers seized several mounted animals that are protected under endangered species laws.

Tim Pitman, the operations manager for the Prairie region major investigations unit at Environment Canada, said the YouTube video led to more illegally imported animals being seized. 

“There were some videos showing other shipments and mounts, and that’s when we started looking at what other items came from there,” he said in an interview.

In May 2023, Environment Canada enforcement officers inspected a shipment that was intercepted by the Canada Border Services Agency in Winnipeg, en route from Texas to the company in Major.

The officers discovered various taxidermy mounts, including a hippopotamus, giraffe, and a mountain lion, Environment Canada said.

Mounted taxidermized animals including a hippopotamus, a giraffe, a mountain lion, a baboon
Various taxidermy mounts, including a hippopotamus, a giraffe, a mountain lion, a baboon and others were seized by Environment Canada, the agency said. (Environment and Climate Change Canada)

The endangered animals are protected by law and require an export permit from the country of origin, and an import permit to get them into Canada, which the company did not have.

“Without the permitting process, we’re unable to determine if they were poached illegally, taken where, where they originated from,” said Pitman.

“We did the initial investigation and we did end up doing a search warrant at OSY Rentals, where we found those additional mounts.”

After their investigation determined the company had previously imported two other shipments of taxidermy items, officers seized other items that require an export permit, including a black bear taxidermy mount and two baboon taxidermy mounts.

Officers also seized several other taxidermy mounts, including deer, a boar, two full kangaroo mounts, bison and wildebeest.

On Tuesday, OSY Rentals pleaded guilty in Saskatchewan provincial court to two offences under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection act, and was fined $60,000.

Pitman said authorities now have the taxidermized animals and are still figuring out what to do with them. Usually, they are donated to educational facilities or kept by Environment Canada for identification purposes. 

OSY Rentals did not reply to CBC’s request for comment before deadline. 



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