Three prosecuted for killing panda in SW China

Updated: 2015-09-24 09:19


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KUNMING - Three people have been prosecuted for killing a panda and trading its meat in Southwest China's Yunnan province, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Wang Wenlin and Wang Wencai, brothers from Zhaotong City in northeast Yunnan, allegedly killed a giant panda in late 2014. The third suspect, Li Kequan, participated in trading its meat and paws.

Wan Wei, deputy director of the investigation department of the Yunnan prosecuting office, said the Wang brothers confessed they killed the animal on Dec. 4 in the hills outside their village.

"The Wang brothers said they ate some of the meat and sold the rest of the meat and four paws to Li Kequan, who then traded with others," said Wan.

Police initially suspected the meat was bear, but later confirmed it belonged to an adult female panda through a DNA test. Panda fur, skull and liver were later found in the home of the two brothers.

The Wang brothers said they had been tracking a predator that attacked their sheep last December, and only after one of them shot at what they described as a "big animal" did they realize it was a panda.

Pandas have not been spotted in Yunnan for centuries, but after the killing, the provincial forestry administration searched and concluded there may be more than one panda in the area.

Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species. About 1,600 live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces, while more than 300 live in captivity.