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China Daily Website

6 suspected poachers arrested in NE China

Updated: 2012-07-05 08:59
( Xinhua)

CHANGCHUN - Six people have been arrested in connection with the recent killing of five black bears in the Changbai Mountains, a popular summer resort destination in Northeast China's Jilin province, local police said Wednesday.

One of the suspects, a man surnamed Xu, admitted that he and the poachers snuck into the Jilin Changbai Mountains National Reserve in March and hunted five black bears, police said.

Police seized eight bear paws and some bear bile, as well as a hunting rifle, hidden by the suspects in one of the mountain's caves.

On June 25, wildlife writer Hu Donglin posted an article on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site, saying five bears, including three cubs, were poisoned on the northern slope of the Changbai Mountains.

Hu uploaded a dozen photos showing the remains of animals that he identified as four black bears and a brown bear, adding that their gallbladders and paws had been removed and were unaccounted for.

Police arrested the poachers on July 2, one week after the post went online.

Bear paws are a delicacy in China. Bile from the gallbladders of bears is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a range of illnesses. Demand for both has resulted in rampant poaching, despite the government's efforts to bring the bears under state protection more than two decades ago.