10 Arrested In China For Wild Panda Bear Killed

Authorities in Beijing, China, announced today the arrest of 10 individuals for the killing of a wild female panda bear. Authorities believe the panda bear that was killed was used for the purpose of selling its body parts on the black market. Since the poaching of pandas is now rare, the parts would have been sold at very high prices. The suspects were arrested for killing a panda, selling and buying panda parts.

Giant Wild Panda China Bear A National Treasure

The giant panda, the familiar black and white, roly-poly bear we are all familiar with, is a highly endangered species. It has been the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund since its inception in 1961 and is undoubtedly the most recognized animal in the world.

China considers the giant panda a national treasure and created the Wolong National Nature Reserve in 1958 to help preserve a declining panda population. As of 2006, there were 40 panda reserves in China. They have made great inroads into understanding the giant panda and their habitat and biology and have had a fairly successful breeding program.

The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries that are in the southwestern province of Sichuan includes seven natural reserves and has been designated one of the very few UNESCO World Heritage Site natural habitats. Wild giant pandas are free to travel through the area protected area and live unhindered by poachers or habitat loss.

The giant panda bear was killed for centuries by local people for use as food and clothing. Many of the body parts of the panda are also believed to have medicinal properties. Since the introduction of the panda to the world through travel to China in the 1930s and subsequent popularity, many panda were killed by poachers for their fur. Conservation efforts have shown progress in population growth. As of 2014, World Wildlife Fund reports that there were 1,864 wild pandas, which is a 17% increase from 1970s figures.

Suspects Arrested in Yunnan Province

China Central Television (CCTV) reported that two brothers were responsible for the death of the panda bear that was killed. They were apparently travelling through the forest looking for an animal that killed one of their sheep. After tracking an animal to a tree, they shot at it and it turned out to be the panda that was killed. They apparently took the panda that was killed and butchered it and then contacted people who could sell the body parts. One man who was arrested is known to have purchased some of the meat. Authorities found over 20 pounds of meat from the panda bear, along with two skull fragments from the female panda, two leg bones, and the pelt. If convicted, the suspects face a penalty of at least 10 years in jail.