VLADIVOSTOK, April 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russian border guards in the Far East seized five kilograms of bear paws that poachers were trying to transport to China, a Federal Security Service (FSB) branch reported on Tuesday.
The guards discovered packages containing the hidden paws under a platform loaded with timber while searching a cargo train traveling from Russia to China last weekend.
Bear paws, bear skins and fragments of tiger skeleton as well as some Far Eastern endangered plants are valuable in China, where they are used in traditional folk remedies and recipes, making many endangered species lucrative targets for poachers across the border in Russia.
The seizure of the bear paws is the first find of natural contraband in the region this year, Federal Security Service (FSB) officials said in a statement. The FSB did not say whether a criminal prosecution would follow the seizure.