Five stand trial for killing rare snow leopards in China

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/8/20 6:32:17

A court in Northwest China's Qinghai Province on Friday heard a case involving the deaths of four rare snow leopards.

Five people stood trial at the Qilian County People's Court, for illegally poaching, killing and selling endangered animals.

Gan Guozhen and the four other suspects illegally caught three wild snow leopard cubs in neighboring Gansu Province in July 2014 and were offered 30,000 yuan (4,500 US dollars) as a "feeding fee" for delivering the cubs to a local zoo five months later. In December, during the journey to the zoo the cubs all died of suffocation.

An adult snow leopard was poached and died in December 2014, together with two bharals and three snow cocks, which are all protected species.

Police caught the suspects when they were brought the animal bodies to Qilian County for sale in January 2015.

The court will announce the ruling at a later date.

Snow leopards are in the top state-level for protected animals species and are usually found in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Pamir Plateau at altitudes over 3,500 meters.

There are less than 5,000 snow leopards worldwide, including about 2,000 in China.

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