Custom agents in Zhuhai, Guangdong made a seizure of approximately four tons of smuggled pangolin on May 12, reports the Yangcheng Evening Report.
Acting on a tip, police stopped a truck on the pronvicial highway near Guangchang and seized 956 frozen pangolin carcasses, each individually bubble wrapped and housed in 189 cases.
The pangolin, also known as the scaly anteater, is classified as a type-2 endangered animal in China, and no trade in pangolin species is permitted under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
Dan Challender, an expert in the species at the University of Kent in Britain, states there is a belief pangolin consumption will stimulate lactation for breast-feeding mothers, or serve to help patients recover from asthma or cancer.
“The overarching narrative for pangolin trade is that the Chinese population of pangolins has suffered dramatic declines over the last 20 years at least,” Challender said. “But at the same time an even more contemporary trend is that source has shifted west. There’s now trade coming from India, Nepal and Pakistan.”