Pair fined after releasing US-native alligator snapping turtle into Yunnan river

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/24 20:06:44

Two men who bought a turtle not native to China and illegally set it free in Southwest China's Yunnan Province were fined 2,000 yuan ($290), local police said Sunday.

 Wang, a tourist from Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, bought the alligator snapping turtle on March 29 to save it from being eaten and set it free in a river in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture the next day accompanied by a local, surnamed Yang, according to local police.

Netizens reported what they had done after Yang posted photos of it on WeChat.

Police found Yang on April 2, who told them he didn't know it was illegal to release the turtle - which is native to the US and considered an invasive species in China.

Local police discovered on Saturday that the freed turtle had already been caught and cooked after days of searching with Yang's help.

The two were dealt with leniently and fined 2,000 yuan, according to local police.

This incident comes after another similar case in which the prestigious Peking University formally banned releasing animals on its campus after six women tried to release hundreds of exotic turtles in its lake in October 2016.

Peking University stopped the visitors from releasing around 500 Brazilian turtles into Weiming Lake and gave a notice of severe rule violation to the Department of Physical Education, which had given the women permission to enter the campus.

The school said the turtles are an invasive species that threaten the local ecosystem.

China News Service

Posted in: SOCIETY

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