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Tigers migrate to China… in pieces

18 april 2012
Examination conducted with participation of WWF expert Sergei Aramilev determined: 3 paws, which a Chinese woman tried to smuggle from Russia to China belong to two Amur tigers.

It means that Amur tiger population has lost two more rare cats.

In Primorye customs officers detained a Chinese citizen who was hiding three paws packed in plastic bags attached by a tape to her own body. The illegal lot with total weight of 1,6 kilos was confiscated and sent for examination. A criminal case was opened against the culprit.

The examination determined: the guest from China tried to smuggle three Amur tiger paws. Moreover, it was determined that two of them were left hind paws, which means that they cannot belong to one animal. Thus, sadly, the parts belong to two tiger individuals, - comments examination participant Sergei Aramilev, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF-Russia Amur branch. – The paws were dried in a manner commonly used in Tibetan medicine.

In the past two weeks in Primorye the police and the Customs Agency have uncovered the remains of minimum 4 tigers, and possibly more. It is important to recall that killing Amur tigers and leopards is considered as a criminal act, which carries criminal liability and a fine of 500 thousand rubles (approximately 17000 USD).

Officers of the Customs Agency and customs experts deserve special gratitude for obstructing this crime. It’s obvious that these paws are only a part of a load, now it’s necessary to determine the location of the rest of the tiger body parts.” – adds Sergei Aramilev.

Examination determined: 3 paws, which a Chinese woman tried to smuggle from Russia to China belong to two Amur tigers
© Sergey Aramilev / WWF Russia