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Chinese police seize 148 smuggled wolf skins, carcasses at border

Chinese police seize 148 smuggled wolf skins, carcasses at border

BEIJING: Police in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China have arrested a large wildlife smuggling gang that were attempting to import illegal wolf carcasses. A total of 148 wolf skins, six carcasses and a large number of animal organs were discovered after police noticed that several containers smelt like rotting fish, the People’s Daily Online reports.

Wolf meat was also seized during the bust which Chinese media are reporting to be the biggest discovery in 20 years. The bust took place at the Takeshenken border check point in Altay Prefecture in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on February 4.

The Takeshenken border check point is 15km away from the Chinese-Mongolian border.  Many goods such as cotton, livestock and tea are exported through the checkpoint.  The police discovered 148 wolf skins, 255 decorative amulets made from wolf bones and offal which was estimated to be worth around one million yuan (£105,000).

According to local authorities, the items were set to be sold on China’s black market where there is demand for exotic animal meats. Local police say they have detained an undisclosed number of members of the wildlife smuggling gang.