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PHOTOS: Unusual Items at the National Wildlife Property Repository

The News4 I-Team's Tisha Thompson visited the National Wildlife Property Repository to show you all of the unusual items people try to sneak into the United States. There are more than 1.5 million illegal animal products stored inside the warehouse. See what’s inside here.

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The tiger aisle
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Some of the taxidermied tiger heads seized by US Fish & Wildlife
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A taxidermied tiger cub. Doni Sprague of US Fish & Wildlife says this cub was taken in utero after a poacher killed its mother.
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The tiger cub
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Two taxidermied tigers stand guard outside the National Wildlife Property Repository.
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US Fish & Wildlife says these two tigers were seized during an operation to shut down an illegal wildlife hunting ranch.
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The tigers are the first thing to greet you inside the repository.
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The National Wildlife Property Repository houses more than 1.5 million confiscated animal products.
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Elephant skin paintings
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Doni Sprague holds a collection of 40 bracelets made of elephant tail hair.
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Some of the elephant stools inside the repository.
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Sprague says elephant skin is used in boots, belts and book covers. Elephant bone is used in carvings, the tail hair in bracelets and the toenails in traditional medicine.
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The leopard collection
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Cheetah slippers
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Big cat skins
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One of dozens of aisles inside the repository
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Rhino horn is one of the most expensive items on the black market due to demand from Southeast Asia.
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A carving made of rhino horn
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Sprague shows the repository’s collection of traditional medicinals made out of rhino horn
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Rhino foot stools and ashtrays
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Sprague says they start to see trends forming when large quantities of animals come into the repository. They’ve recently started to see thousands of endangered seahorses come in boxes filled with these bags.
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A giraffe bone covered in carvings of giraffes
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One of the large cats in the repository
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The critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle
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Sprague says an importer tried to smuggle these hair combs made of endangered sea turtle.
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An antique cabinet seized by US Fish & Wildlife because the importer did not have the proper permits to bring it into the United States. The dark brown material on the front of the cabinet is made from the shell of the hawksbill sea turtle.
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Sprague says the sea turtles coming into the repository are getting smaller and smaller because their larger counterparts have been fished out.
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A sword made from the bill of a swordfish
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A taxidermied polar bear
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Rugs made of the skin and heads of a polar bear and a grizzly bear
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The repository’s bear collection
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Bags full of bear claws
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Snake wine containing the body of an endangered snake species
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Bottles of snake wine
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There are shelves full of snake wine.
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More than 1,000 snake gall bladders
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The jaw and teeth of a great white shark
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A tourist trinket confiscated by US Fish & Wildlife
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It is illegal to bring these frog purses into the United States.
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The Africa aisle in the repository
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A monkey taken from a tourist
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A chest made of coral
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Bags full of seized coral products
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Endangered butterflies from Vietnam
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Rolled rugs made of Zebra skin
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Sprague says she rarely sees lions in the repository because lions are legal to hunt in many parts of the world.
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The horn of a kudu
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An orangutan skull with a bullet hole in its left cheek.
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Sprague says this carved orangutan skull is one of the more unusual items she’s seen in the repository.
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Sprague says monkey heads and body parts are also a health concern because they may carry contagious biologic agents.
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More stingray boots
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Boots made from the skin of a stingray and dyed to look like tiger fur.
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The repository has aisles full of boots and other types of shoes.
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The News4 I-Team found reptile skin makes up almost half of all illegal animal fashion products, according to a database obtained from US Fish & Wildlife.
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A leopard fur coat
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The repository’s collection of coats made of almost every type of skin or fur imaginable.
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Tibetan antelope scarves. Sprague says it takes five-to-seven animals to make a single scarf, which retail for $10,000 apiece.
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US Fish & Wildlife’s $1 million trunk. What’s inside?
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Sprague says US Fish & Wildlife seized 1,000 boxes like these. Each one contains a pair of sea turtle boots.
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Doni Sprague with US Fish & Wildlife says the hawksbill sea turtle is critically endangered. It takes an entire animal to make a single pair of boots.
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A crocodile purse
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Purses made of skins US Fish & Wildlife says are illegal to import into the United States.
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Some fashion items contain more than one illegal species like this purse, which was made of a combination of python and stingray.
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A parrot feather hat
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US Fish & Wildlife says it seized this gown from a high-end designer because it has trim made from caiman skin.
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A corset made of crocodile skin
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Doni Sprague holds a collection of 40 bracelets made of elephant tail hair.
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