South Africa seizes large illegal shipment of lion bones

South Africa seizes illegal shipment of lion bones weighing more than a quarter-ton

JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa says an illegal shipment of lion bones weighing 342 kilograms (754 pounds) has been seized at Johannesburg’s main airport.

It is not immediately clear where the lion bones were being shipped. The statement says the cargo had been misdeclared.

South African policy allows the annual export of a certain number of skeletons of captive-bred lions to meet demand in Asia for bones, but some animal rights groups have objected.

Conservationists say the enforcement of regulations governing the lion bone trade is weak and that the legal market could threaten Africa's wild lions by spurring demand.