Police discovered that a gang was using a Chengdu apartment, not only for the storing of parts of various endangered animals, but even for the actual butchering of the live creatures.
The smugglers were discovered after being reported by a terrified downstairs neighbor, who saw blood seeping through the floorboards from the room above. Thinking that a murder had been committed, he quickly called police, SCMP reports.
The case actually occurred way back in 2014, but the gory details only just came to light when seven members of the gang were convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison for the killing, trading and transporting of nationally protected animals.
After a raid, police discovered several hundreds kilograms of protected animal body parts, including those from red pandas, monkeys and black bears. There were also five golden snub-nosed monkeys, three of which were dead, as well as an assortment of heads, paws, tails and limbs.
Just last week, a huckster in Henan was spotted trying to sell his special “alligator elixir” to a curious crowd. Exotic animals are prized in China for their medicinal effects, with many believing that a potion made from them can boost everything from strength to circulation to sexual performance, despite a lack of actual evidence.
China’s black market thirst for endangered species is driving some of them to the verge of extinction, such as the world’s smallest porpoise.
By Sarah Lin
[Images via Sina]