Smugglers have been caught with a repugnant collection of wild animal body parts en route to China to sell on the black market as ‘quack cures’ for male s3xual problems.
Hundreds of brown and black bears, as well as five endangered Siberian tigers, were slaughtered for the morbid impotency and health remedies.
In the gruesome collection were the tails, genitals and gall bladders of wild deer, and the testicles of frogs along with bones from the poached animals.
Russian secret service agents examine a piece of tiger skin after busting the smuggling gang
Body parts of brown and black bears, thought to have medical values, have also been seized
Alone, a gruesome haul of 867 severed paws of bears recently shot by poachers was worth £700,000 ($1 million) on the black market, said FSB sources.
The armed smugglers were seized by Vladimir Putin’s FSB secret service agents and customs officials as they prepared to hike 27 miles across a frozen Lake Khanka on the Russian-Chinese border.
One wildlife expert described their elaborate poaching operation and smuggling route as like being ‘out of a movie’.
FSB sources said it was the ‘biggest-ever’ such seizure.
Five endangered Siberian tigers were slaughtered before being smuggled for the black market
Bear paws and vile are highly prized medical remedies in China and are much sought after
The gang comprising three Chinese and two Russian citizens were detained on the shore of the border lake.
The poachers were seized in a ‘highly coordinated’ operation, said the security service.
At least 216 bears were illegally shot for the paws seized in the operation.
Sergey Aramilev, who heads the Amur Tiger Centre dedicated to the recovery of an endangered big cat population, said a major smuggling channel had been blocked, reported The Siberian Times.
A Russian expert familiar with the matters said a major smuggling channel had been blocked
They smugglers were armed when they were caught while trying to cross a frozen lake
Agents also seized the testicles of frogs along with bones from the poached animals
Details of the operation remained secret because of a criminal investigation, he stated.
‘But I am sure that this story one day will turn into a movie script.’
He said: ‘The poachers had been gathering animal body parts for a long time throughout the whole of the Russian Far East.
‘Two tigers were killed not less than three years ago,’ he stated.
‘Two other tigers – very recently, one of them was killed this winter.’
The suspects were caught as they prepared to hike 27 miles across Lake Khanka (pictured)
The animal body parts are used for traditional remedies in China, including so-called ‘boosts’ for flagging male potency.
Gallbladders – and bile – are seen as a popular boost to s3xual performance in Asian countries even though such a notion is dismissed by mainstream medics.
They are also used for ‘treatments’ for cardiac problems, eye puffiness, asthma, cancer, and burns.