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Man who ate tiger jailed for 12 years

A MAN was sentenced to 12 years in prison today for killing and eating a rare Indochinese tiger in southwestern China's Yunnan Province.

Mengla County People's Court ordered Kang Wannian to pay a fine of 100,000 yuan (US$14,600), plus 480,000 yuan for state economic losses for the dead tiger.

The court found Kang guilty of poaching a protected animal, and he was also convicted of illegally possessing a shotgun. His companion Gao Zuqiao was sentenced to four years in prison and fined 20,000 yuan.

Another four villagers whom Gao asked to dismember and eat the tiger were jailed for between one and three years. Three were given a four-year reprieve as they were only found guilty of covering up Kang's crimes.

The court heard that Kang and Gao were fishing with a shotgun when they spotted a creature on the opposite bank. Kang said he shot it without knowing it was a tiger.

Kang's lawyer argued in court that his client was only armed with weapon to defend himself against wild animals and had no intention to kill a protected tiger.

Only around 1,300 to 1,800 Indochinese tigers are estimated to be living in the wild. The tiger killed by Kang was thought to be the only Indochinese tiger ever seen in China.

It was reported that Kang's father had his face bitten by a wild bear in 1979 when Kang was seven, and his brother was trampled to death by a wild elephant in 1995.


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