Officers have seized 342kg (754lb) of lion bones and arrested 3 folks at Johannesburg airport in South Africa, the surroundings ministry stated.
The bones, which might be prized in Asia for meant medicinal advantages and to make jewelry, have been destined for Malaysia.
The 12 bins of lion bones wrapped in aluminium foil have been misdeclared and came upon upon inspection.
Exporting bones of lions bred in captivity is criminal in South Africa, regardless that a unique allow is needed.
Ministry spokesman Albi Modise stated the ones arrested have been foreigners, together with two from Zimbabwe, with one suspect nonetheless in custody.
The typical weight of a lion skeleton is 9kg, in keeping with a file produced via South Africa’s EMS conservation basis and the Ban Animal Buying and selling workforce.
With skeletons of moderate weight, 342kg would quantity to 38 lions.
It was once no longer right away transparent whether or not the bones have been from lions bred in captivity or from the wild.
Lion portions are regularly offered in Asian markets mislabelled as tiger portions, because of China’s ban at the sale of tiger merchandise, in keeping with the UK-based Surroundings Investigation Company.
“Tiger bone wine” is utilized in conventional Chinese language medication, regardless that there’s no proof it has any advantages.
Greater than 11,000 lions are living in South Africa, with 3,000 of them situated in nationwide parks the place searching is forbidden.