Russian, Chinese smugglers arrested with tonne of bear paws: NGO

January 31, 2018
The Siberian tiger, seen here in a reserve in northeastern China, is an endangered species, hunted for use in traditional Chinese medicine

A group of Russian and Chinese smugglers have been arrested near the border between the two countries in possession of a tonne of bear paws as well as tiger, deer and frog parts, an animal protection group said Tuesday.

The smugglers were arrested at the weekend by Russian customs officers in the far east of the country with 870 of the bear paws "and the remains of at least four Siberian tigers" in their three vehicles, said the Russian tiger NGO.

The Russian and Chinese nationals were also caught with bear teeth, deer tails and penises and other animal parts as well as arms and ammunition and an amount of amber, the Amur Tiger Center said.

According to the tiger protection group, the smugglers were headed for China when they were apprehended, and were preparing to cross the frozen Lake Khanka on the border.

China is a big market for parts from endangered or protected species including tigers, bears, elephants, rhino and pangolins.

The parts are used in the traditional medicine market which flourishes despite the total lack of scientific evidence as to their efficacy and Chinese government campaigns to end the trade.

"The animal body parts are often transported close to Chinese New Year," which this year falls on February 16, the NGO's head Sergey Aramilev said.

The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur , is the largest of the big cats. There remain only around 350 of the animals in the wild, in China, Russia and North Korea.

Explore further: Siberian tiger that terrified Vladivostok gets new wild home

Related Stories

Tiger meat, bear paws openly available in Laos: NGO

March 19, 2015

A resort complex in northwest Laos targeting Chinese visitors has become a "lawless playground" for the trade in illegal wildlife ranging from tiger meat to bear paws, an advocacy group said Thursday.

Decline in Russian tigers renews calls to end all trade

October 19, 2009

A shocking decline in the Russian Federation's wild tiger population highlights the importance of eliminating trade in and demand for tiger parts, the International Tiger Coalition (ITC) said today. The alliance of 40 organizations ...

Experts: Demand in China fuels tiger poaching

November 22, 2010

(AP) -- International experts say demand in China poses the greatest threat to tigers in the wild and organized crime runs the illicit trade in the world's largest felines.

Recommended for you

After a reset, Сuriosity is operating normally

February 23, 2019

NASA's Curiosity rover is busy making new discoveries on Mars. The rover has been climbing Mount Sharp since 2014 and recently reached a clay region that may offer new clues about the ancient Martian environment's potential ...

Study: With Twitter, race of the messenger matters

February 23, 2019

When NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice, the ensuing debate took traditional and social media by storm. University of Kansas researchers have ...

Researchers engineer a tougher fiber

February 22, 2019

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material that could be incorporated into soft robotics, packaging ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.