|Police have detained a man for trying to smuggle two snow leopards through the Xining Railway Station in northwest China's Qinghai Province. Ma Deliang was stopped by police after he attempted to pass the butchered snow leopards off as “beef” at a shop in Sichuan in southwest China. Suspicious of the contents in Ma's big sack, police asked experts from the local forestry bureau to check the meat and they found it to be flesh of two snow leopards, an endangered species on top state protection. Ma later confessed that he bought the dead snow leopards at a local market and wanted to smuggle them to Deyang, a city in southwest China's Sichuan province. Police also searched Ma's home and found dear heads, antlers and lynx and fox furs. Snow leopards live in highlands of altitudes between 3,000 to 6, 000 m above sea level. The population of the species has dwindled greatly since the 19th century.