This stuffed bear being inspected by a student was among more than 1,000 rare plant and animal specimens categorised as national treasures showcased at the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) Bank of China (Hong Kong) Chinese Medicine Centre, which was opened on Thursday. Bile from this kind of bear, now a protected species, is used in traditional medicine to treat ailments such as sore eyes, high temperature and liver problems. Bear fat, when rubbed on the skin, is claimed to turn it white; as a bonus it also cures athlete's foot. The centre is sponsored by Bank of China (Hong Kong) with the School of Chinese Medicine, practitioners of Chinese Materia Medica and the Health Department. Dean of the School of Chinese Medicine, Professor Liu Liang, said there were not enough local Chinese medicine professionals in Hong Kong. 'The Sars outbreak in the past few months proved the potential role of traditional Chinese medicines in health care, as many people turned to Chinese medicine for protection and rehabilitation,' said Professor Liu. 'However, Hong Kong is still very dependant on the mainland for expertise in that aspect, and most of the Chinese medicine clinics at public hospitals are run by mainland practitioners.'