15/11/2013 08:01 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:56 GMT

Illegal Animal Items Smuggled Into UK In Record Numbers (VIDEO)

Hippo teeth, walrus horns, tortoises and big cats are among some of the endangered animal items being smuggled into the country, border officials have said.

The Home Office has revealed that more items were confiscated between April 2012 and April 2013 than in any other year.

Senior Officer Grant Miller with items seized by the UK by the Border Force


Other contraband included rhino horns, £4,000 shawls made of Tibetan antelope wool and books bound in elephant hide.

A Rolls Royce upholstered in alligator skin and a piece of artwork featuring a rare £35,000 rock pigeon clutched between the jaws of a human skull were also seized as well as eight live big cats and 466 Hermann's tortoises.

Grant Miller, the senior officer on the Border Force CITES team, said: "We have everything from rhino horn to ivory to the taxidermy items and marine species that we see being brought back into the UK, both in passengers' luggage - but more importantly, and in large quantities, through freight."

We had a look at some of the more unusual items seized:

Photo gallery Smuggled Animal Products Seized By Border Officials See Gallery