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Villagers charged with killing and eating tiger

SIX villagers in southwest China's Yunnan Province are being tried for allegedly killing a rare tiger and eating it.

Compensation of 480,000 yuan (US$70,297) was also demanded for the rare Indochinese tiger, which is protected and one of only 1,200 to 1,700 left in the wild, today's Chongqing Evening News reported.

Mengla County People's Court of Yunnan's Xishuangbanna Dai Ethnic Autonomous Prefecture didn't announce the verdict after Wednesday's hearing.

Mengla villagers Kang Wannian and Gao Zuqiao went to a mountain river one February night when Kang noticed a pair of glaring eyes, the court heard. He allegedly shot the beast in the throat with the gun he was carrying and then discovered it was a tiger.

The next morning they called five other villagers to return to the mountain and dismember the tiger, the report said.

Burying the tiger's skin and internal organs, they allegedly brought the rest back, cooked it and ate it.

After their story was circulated in the village, police investigated and found part of the skull and claws at one of the men's home.

Kang's lawyer argued Kang was unaware that the animal was a tiger when he shot it in self-protection.

The last living Indochinese tiger was spotted nearby in 2007, according to the Chongqing Evening News.


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