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Mandarin duck poacher gets 5 years behind bars

A man from Anhui Province was sentenced to five years in prison for poaching 14 mandarin ducks in suburban Shanghai, a local court ruled today.

Prosecutors said the man surnamed Chen caught 14 mandarin ducks, a protected species in China, in Dishui Lake, Pudong New Area one night last October.

Chen said he set up a trap with a fishing net in the shallows of the lake and tied a few ducks he bought from the market to the net. He then made the ducks quacking, which attracted 14 mandarin ducks into the net.

The poacher said he didn't know mandarin ducks are a protected species. "Friends told me that wild ducks sell well in the market. I didn't know catching them would bring me such a stiff punishment," Chen said.

Chen was detained the next morning and the ducks were freed, the court heard.

He was also fined 10,000 yuan (US$1,587) by the court. Under the Chinese Law, anyone who poached more than six mandarin ducks shall be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.

Since Chen pleaded guilty and freed all the ducks, he was given a lighter sentence, said Wang Weiming, the judge of Chen's case.


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