CHANGSHA - Police on Monday said they have arrested 11 people for allegedly poaching endangered animals in a central China virgin forest, and they also seized a large number of bear parts and antelope corpses.
A joint operation by police in Hubei and Hunan provinces found that the suspects used electric nets to illegally trap endangered animals in the Shimen Forests near Wufenghouhe Nature Reserve on the border of the two provinces.
Seventeen bear paws, five bear gall bladders and more than 300 kg of bear meat, as well as musk deer skins and antelope corpses, were seized by police. Police are still pursuing five other suspects, Hunan police officials said.
Bear gall bladders and bear paws have been widely used as expensive ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine. While most bears are currently under adequate protection, huge profits drive poachers to break the law. Animal rights activists in recent years have called for alternatives to bear parts in traditional medicines.