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TSA Stumbles Upon Bear Paws & Bile in Carry-On at Oregon Airport

The TSA discovered something especially hairy inside a traveler’s luggage at an Oregon airport earlier this month — bear paws.

An Oregon man has been cited for unlawful possession of game parts after bear paws and other illegal animal products were found in his luggage. According to The Register-Guard, Hong-Shiou Chiou was preparing to board a flight from Eugene Airport (EUG) to Taiwan on March 3 when TSA agents discovered the bear paws and a bottle containing whiskey, herbs and bear gall.

Upon learning the contents of Chiou’s luggage, the TSA alerted Oregon State Police, who in turn came to question him. Chiou, of Florence, Ore., reportedly told officers that he was taking the bear paws to Taiwan so they could be turned into a necklace for his housekeeper. The whiskey mixture, he explained, was a sleeping aid.

According to a search warrant issued for Chiou’s home and a barn, he could not tell officers where he originally got the paws or whether or not they actually belonged to him. During questioning at EUG, Chiou allegedly told officials that he was a hunter and that he stored bear meat and other bear parts in a freezer at his barn. Additionally, he also admitted to receiving bear parts from other unnamed individuals.

Chiou did, however, according to the search warrant, offer to show investigators the barn and consent for police to search his freezer. Officers discovered bear hides and heads during their search, and it is known that some of the items found in Chiou’s luggage — specifically the bear paws and gall — are prized ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine. Bear paws are also considered an expensive delicacy in China, with a single serving of bear paw soup valued at $1,400.

Despite his initial cooperation with authorities, Chiou failed to produce a hunting license, which would have given him the legal right to hunt bears within the state. A trooper also told investigators that he had been investigating Chiou for the illegal sale of bear parts.

While Chiou was officially cited with the possession of game parts, he was not taken into custody.

[Photo: iStock]

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CLTpigeon March 26, 2015

This is un-bear-able!