Yangcheng Evening News said in an edition seen in Beijing on Thursday. Acting on a tip, police last May arrested Guo Song, Chen Jianming and Huang Peicai as they were trying to sell the two panda skins at the gate of a hotel in Huidong county, the newspaper said. A fourth suspect, Hu Xi, who reportedly bought the skins of China's endangered national animal in 1993 and asked the other three to help him to find a buyer, had died of illness before sentencing, the newspaper said. Only about 1,000 giant pandas live in the wild in China. Penalties for killing pandas or selling their fur are severe, with a maximum punishment of death.