BEIJING, June 8 (RIA Novosti) - Chinese police have apprehended a group of smugglers attempting to leave the country with 173 bear paws declared as "garbage," China's Sina news service reported on Monday.
The smugglers wrapped the bear paws in newspaper and put them in the back of a truck to look like waste paper. Besides the bear paws, authorities also uncovered five anaconda skins with a length of up to 5 meters (16 feet) and an anteater corpse.
Experts have estimated the smuggled goods at $500,000.
Bear paws are considered a delicacy in many Southeast Asian countries and they are also used in preparing traditional Chinese medicines. It is believed that dried bear paws relieve rheumatism. Anteaters are used for interior design and anaconda skins are used to make fashionable clothes and accessories.