Alberta man fined $7,000 for removing ancient fossils from national park -

Alberta man fined $7,000 for removing ancient fossils from national park


CALGARY – An Alberta man has been fined $7,000 for trying to illegally export ancient fossils, minerals and gemstones to Japan.

Police say Terry Ciotka of Pangea Fossils pleaded guilty in Calgary court to not having proper export permits and lying about the value of the goods.

Court heard officers from the Canadian Border Service Agency became suspicious in August 2011 when Ciotka tried to take fossils, ammonites and ammolites across the border.

The fossils came from the Burgess Shale formation in Yoho National Park near Field, B.C., which is believed to be around 500 million years old.

Ciotka’s conviction is believed to be the first under Canada’s National Parks Act, which forbids anyone from taking plant or animal material out of a protected park.

An ammonite is a marine animal that became extinct about 65 million years ago; an ammolite is a rare opal-like gemstone formed from the shells of ammonites.

The only significant deposits of high-quality ammolites are found in a formation in southern Alberta. There are only two ammolite mines in Canada — both are in Alberta.

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Alberta man fined $7,000 for removing ancient fossils from national park

  1. There are numerous errors and out right lies in your article regarding this case. The RCMP’ s spokesperson for some reason, released information regarding charges that were
    actually dropped because we were able to prove them false. As a Canadian citizen and business owner who has always worked very closely with government officials and well known museums
    and would NEVER steal a piece of our important scientific heritage, I’m saddened and disgusted that this kind of reporting can be done to ruin our business and family’s reputation without any basic fact checking.
    Shame on the RCMP and shame on the press. We have always welcomed reporters into our business and have had breakfast shows come in, newspaper articles written about our new finds, documentaries done
    and stories written about our charity work. All of our hard work that went into building and running this wonderful company has now been destroyed due to a lack of effort in fact checking before publicizing articles to ruin our lives.
    We are now getting threats, our home address and phone numbers have been posted online and our children are being harassed. We truly hope something like this never happens to you because no one should ever have to endure
    something so completely wrong!

    Terry Ciotka
    Pangea Fossils ltd