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Russian Hides Birds Down Pants to Protect Them From Chinese Smog

Buildings are seen through thick haze at the central business district in Guangzhou, China.

A Russian citizen detained after allegedly attempting to smuggle exotic birds out of China in his trousers defended his action by saying he had wanted to protect the birds from pollution.

Chinese customs officers stopped a 43-year-old man, identified as Naum Pokrovsky, on June 6 during checks at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport after noticing a bulge in the cuff of his pants, Shangaiist reported.

The officers then searched Pokrovsky and uncovered two exotics birds from the lining of his pants.

An environmentally conscious Pokrovsky defended his action by saying he had wanted to "protect the birds from Chinese smog," by taking them to Singapore, the report said.

According to a pollution report released by  China's Ministry of Environmental Protection in June, only 3 out of 74 major Chinese cities meet air quality standards.

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