On March 14, 2003 the Police officers confiscated the Far Esatern leopard skin in Vladivostok after a long investigation by border police. The skin was confiscated when it was transported in a car. Four people were spectacularly, and quite roughly, arrested and handcuffed. Everything was filmed, including the criminals lying on the street with their hands cuffed behind their backs. The skin is fresh and of a mature leopard. The confiscation was shown on local and national television.
a skin confiscated incidentally during a car check by police,
a skin confiscated by Inspection Tiger in Vladivostok,
one skin confiscated by Inspection Tiger and others in Khasan (with reliable information that this was only 1 of 3 leopards killed by villagers, the other 2 skins already been sold),
·a skin was confiscated in the new reserve in China,
the recent confiscation on March 14.
This brings the total to 6-8 killed leopards and we can safely assume that not all cases are uncovered. It is clear that we have a crisis at hand. The population can certainly not sustain this poaching. The results of this years snow track and camera trap counts will be made official around April 18th according to Dale Miquelle (WCS), but rumours are that the results are similar to previous estimates (that ranged between 20 and 44). So there is still hope!