Nine pythons, key protected animals in China, were found packed into disposable food cartons on a long-distance bus en route to Shanghai, according to ECNS.cn.
Traffic police had reportedly stopped the bus around 11 a.m. at the Fengjing checkpoint on the Shanghai-Kunming Highway to find the snakes hidden within disposable food cartons in two separate foam boxes. The names of the snakes species were marked in English on the boxes, although it’s still unclear who was responsible for transporting them.
Under China’s criminal law, people who illegally traffic wild animals on the state’s key protection list can face a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail plus fines.
Xinhua reported today that 24 people suspected of smuggling and selling 10 million yuan worth of products made from endangered animals, including bear paws and pangolin body parts, were arrested by police in raids across nine different provinces.
In January, Gaungxi Fangcheng police seized a car suspected of illegally transporting 39 pangolins, another endangered animal on China’s protection list.
[Image Credit: spisharam]