By Li Qian | 2012-6-27 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
AUTHORITIES in the area of Changbai Mountain in northeast China's Jilin Province were sent yesterday to the mountain forests to investigate the online allegation that five among 33 wild bears remaining were slain.
A writer who covers wildlife, Hu Donglin, said on the Internet that five bears, including moon bears and brown bears, were brutally killed earlier this year. Under the state wildlife protection laws, hunting the bears for games are strictly forbidden.
Illegal hunters cut off bear paws, took out bear bile, peeled off the fur and removed the meat. Partial bear bodies lay every six or seven meters on the northern part of Changbai Mountain, Hu said.
Online pictures showed only bones and large amounts of fur remaining.
Bear killers might have lured hungry bears with toxic bait when they woke and left the caves in April to seek food after six months of hibernation, Hu said.
The bile, an expensive ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, can fetch up to 150,000 yuan (US$23,565) a kilogram in a black market near Changbai Mountain while the paws, considered a delicacy, are priced at 2,400 yuan each.
A bear carcass can earn an illegal hunter more than 20,000 yuan.
Hu said only 30 moon bears and three brown bears had been found remaining in the mountain forests, and more killing would eliminate them all.
Changbai Mountain, on the border of China and North Korea, a known habitat for many wild animals, has seen an increase in illegal hunters.
Hu's posts soon got wide notice, and Internet users took up the call for "no trading, no massacre."
"Forests of the Changbai Mountain have been exploited in a savage way for more than 30 years. Our nation severely lacks wildlife animal protection rules, but issues more polices to allow bear bile farms to open," said one Internet post.