Chinese "paper tiger" photographer stands trial

Chinese “paper tiger” photographer stands trial 2008-09-27 09:12:28

XI’AN, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) — Zhou Zhenglong, the farmer who shocked China with his fake photo of the endangered South China tiger, went on trial on Saturday in a local court in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

The Xunyang County People’s Court began the trial at 8:30 a.m. Zhou was accused of fraud and owning guns and ammunition illegally.

The 54-year-old from Zhenping County claimed to have photographed the tiger with a digital camera on the afternoon of Oct. 3 last year, and was rewarded by the Provincial Forestry Department with 20,000 yuan (2,915 U.S. dollars).

But doubts arose immediately on the Internet, as some netizens found an old Lunar New Year commemorative poster in which the tiger resembled that in his photo.

Police later arrested him after seizing an old tiger poster, which Zhou allegedly borrowed from a farmer in another village in September last year to produce his photos. They also found a wooden model of tiger claw, which Zhou allegedly used to fabricate a South China tiger paw print on snow.

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