A man flying from Kazakhstan was caught at an airport in Urumqi attempting to smuggle four frozen bear paws in his luggage.
Customs officials detected the paws in an X-ray scan as they were concealed in his suitcase, according to Sina News. Bear parts are prized throughout China, where it’s widely believed that the paws carry medicinal value.
The National Forestry Bureau identified the smuggled items as black bear paws. The black bear is classified by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) as an endangered animal, and it’s believed that the bear had been hunted.
The man admitted that he planned on selling the paws, one of which can weight up to six pounds and can be sold for around 5,000 RMB.
By Tanto Chen
[Image via: Urumqi Customs District of People’s Republic of China]