MOSCOW, November 9 (RAPSI) – Police in the Altai region of southern Siberia have arrested a local resident suspected of snow leopard poaching, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported Monday.

Police discovered skin and skull of a rare animal hidden in the suspect’s car.  Law enforcement officers also seized 20 bear paws without permitting documents.

A criminal case has been opened, the investigation is underway. The arrested man could face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to one million rubles if convicted.

Criminal liability with up to seven years imprisonment for hunting and trading of endangered species was introduced in Russia in 2013. 

According to WWF, over the past 16 years, the population of snow leopards has declined by at least 20 percent, and it continues to fall. According to the report, there could be as few as 4,000 animals left.