Chinese police probe slaughter of rare Siberian tiger
Sun Dec 23, 1:11 AM ET
Chinese police have launched an investigation into the illegal slaughter of a rare Siberian tiger at a reserve in central China, state press reported Sunday.
The six year old female tiger was found skinned with its head and the lower part of its legs cut off at the knee in a wildlife zoo in China’s Hubei province, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to the report, the locks to the tiger cage were smashed and four home-made anaesthetic rifles were found nearby.
“This was cruel and professional slaughter,” an official close to the case was quoted as saying.
Liu Xinxian, head of the forestry bureau in the city of Yichang that borders the Yangtze river, vowed to find the perpetrators.
“The Siberian tiger is a key species under state protection and the criminals will be severely punished,” Liu said.
Police have offered an undisclosed reward for information leading to the capture of those involved. If caught the killers could be jailed for up to 10 years.
No more than a few dozen wild tigers are believed left in China, and only a couple of thousand live in their native habitat worldwide.
Among the world’s 10 most endangered species, about 400 Siberian tigers are thought to live in northeast China and Russia’s far east.
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