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240 Bear Paws Heading To China Seized By Security Services

by : Julia Banim on : 13 Nov 2019 12:03
240 Bear Paws Heading To China Seized By Security ServicesFSB Border Control

Russian border guards at a Federal Security Service (FSB) frontier post on the border with China have intercepted a gruesome cargo full of animal parts, including 240 bear paws.

The illegal stash also included two tiger paws, taken from an endangered Amur or Siberian tiger, as well as two extinct woolly mammoth tusks.

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It’s believed the parts, which have since been seized, had been intended for China, where they would have been used for traditional medicines and food delicacies.

Bear Paws cargoFSB Border Control

The cargo was uncovered at Kraskino frontier post, a security post connecting the Primorsky region of Russia with China. It’s believed the paws in question were taken from either Himalayan or black bears, which are found in the far east of Russia.

It’s feared as many as 60 bears had been slaughtered to obtain the paws, The Siberian Times reports.

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According to a statement from the FSB, two Russian nationals and two ‘foreigners’ have since been detained. If convicted, the alleged smugglers could face penalties of up to seven years in prison.

Following this incident, a further 198 bear paws and two mammoth tusks were discovered in a garage at a property connected to the alleged smuggling ring in question. Officers also seized four sacks of as-of-yet unidentified animal body parts, which will now be analysed.

Bear Paws cargoFSB Border Control

Sergey Aramilev, Director General of Amur Tiger Centre, made the following statement:

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This is clearly a crime. The tigers are the among the most threatened big cats on the planet.

All the circumstances of the crime and all the chains in the criminal ring will be established during the investigation. It is most important to establish where are the remaining parts of the tiger.

Aramilev has expressed concerns Russian authorities are only cracking down on a ‘small part’ of a large wild animal parts trafficking operation.

Bear Paws cargoFSB Border Control

Delicacies made using bear paws can reach prices of $1,000 in China, with the last ruler of the Shang dynasty, King Zhou, having been known to enjoy such dishes.

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In ancient Chinese medicine, bear and tiger paws are believed to be beneficial for spleens and stomachs, and are thought to work as a cure for rheumatism. However, there is no hard evidence to support these claims.

Mammoth tusks are also known to be used for the purposes of traditional medicines and cosmetics, with practitioners grinding the tusks into powder.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals, China, Russia, tigers

Credits

The Siberian Times
  1. The Siberian Times

    Sinister seizure of 240 Himalayan or black bear paws made in Russian Far East