North Carolina woman accused of selling bear parts pleads guilty

Stock image (WSOC)

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  — A North Carolina woman has pleaded guilty in federal court for buying and selling organs from dead bears, WSOC reported.

There’s apparently big money to be made, specifically from bears’ gall bladders, which have high value for those who follow Far Eastern traditional medicinal practices.

Kathy Ann Cho was accused of buying bears’ gall bladders for $400 each and then reselling them for as much as $1,000 per organ. One of Cho’s buyers happened to be an undercover federal agent.

The Humane Society said the gall bladders and the bile they contain are often used to treat a multitude of illnesses and disorders, including fever, liver disease, convulsions, diabetes and heart disease.

Documents in the case reveal a recorded conversation with Cho in which she admits to knowing she needs a dealer’s license for selling ginseng and that selling bears’ gall bladders is illegal.

Her actions, according to documents filed Wednesday, occurred between September 2013 and May 2017.

She has not been sentenced yet.

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