Poaching threatens South America's only bear species
Shamans peddle the teeth, fat, and penis bones of this protected species.
CHACHAPOYAS, PERUThe woman in the market stall fills a glass with a reddish liquid, calling out what’s in the brew: white rum, seven types of tree bark, honey, pollen, a snake's head, the huanarpo macho plant, and the key ingredient—the penis bone of an Andean bear.
The drink, called Seven Roots, looks like a magic potion Gargamel would use to catch the Smurfs. But it’s real—one of numerous folkloric cures dispensed by traditional healers, or shamans, in Peru.
“If you have sexual impotence, you should scrape a part of the bear's penis bone and place it in the drink,” says the woman, whose shop, in the city of Chachapoyas, offers various shamanic cures. “However,” she adds, “if you want to possess this