The bruin breed that inspired the beloved Paddington Bear series is on the cusp of extinction, according to a new report.
Paddington was based on the spectacled bear which is now under threat due to the illegal trade of their body parts-one in particular: their penis bone.
Along with the use of the bear’s bone, the fat and teeth are desperately sought after.
Now, the adored South American bears might be in risk of extinction because of high demand for a folk concoction called Seven Roots. The key ingredient comes from penis poaching.
Also coined as the “sex drink,” Seven Roots is made up of white rum, seven types of tree bark, honey, pollen, a snake’s head, the huanarpo macho plant and the bear’s penis bone.
One part of the animal’s penis bone can be sold for just over $750.
In Peru, the drink is sold to customers by many traditional healers who believe it has medicinal properties. One of which is believed to give you the strength of an entire bear.
According to National Geographic, some people in South America also claim the “sex drink” can cure sexual performance problems if it contains just a scraping of a spectacled bear’s penis bone.
However, no substantial scientific research has been conducted to suggest any of these benefits.
Still, many locals are outraged by the bear’s current status as vulnerable. They think it’s sentimental hogwash.
As it is, it is the only native bear species alive in South America with only around 5,000 remaining in Peru.
But the country is fighting back with tougher fines and five-year prison sentences for poachers.