Beijing (AFP) Dec 22, 2009
A man who shot dead a rare tiger in southwestern China was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined 580,000 yuan (85,000 dollars), state media reported Tuesday.
According to a court in Yunnan province, Kang Wannian and another man shot the creature in a nature reserve in February, Xinhua news agency said.
When the two men realised they had killed an Indochinese Tiger, which is on China's list of endangered species, they got scared and ran away, leaving the corpse behind, the report said.
The second man, Gao Zuqiao, later returned to the animal's body with six other people, skinned and dismembered the tiger, and brought the bones and flesh home to eat, according to the report.
Kang was sentenced to 12 years in jail for the illegal possession of a gun and illegally catching and killing a wild, endangered animal. Gao was jailed for four years and ordered to pay 20,000 yuan for covering up the crime.
Three others were also found guilty of covering up the crime, and put on probation for four years.
The court refused to comment when contacted by AFP.
According to the Save The Tiger Fund, a 1998 expert assessment estimated that only 736 to 1,225 Indochinese tigers were left in the wild.
The group says the animals have been severely poached in many areas, and have disappeared from some reserves in Cambodia and Thailand in the last 10 years.
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