Zootopia promotes illegal fox trading online
Updated: 2016-03-17 09:53
A scene from Zootopia. [Photo/Mtime]
The release of the computer-animated Hollywood comedy adventure film Zootopia has given rise to illegal online sales of fennec foxes, the West China Metropolis Daily reported on Wednesday.
The character Nick Wilde, a con-artist fox in the movie, has attracted many fans, including a Beijing parent who tried to buy a fennec fox for their daughter.
"After seeing the movie Zootopia, my daughter became crazy about fennec foxes and demanded one for a pet," the parent said. "However, I found that they can only be traded privately because they are a protected species."
Many pictures and ads for the animals can be found on an online forum. A seller told the newspaper that two foxes are now priced at 30,000 ($4,600) and already vaccinated. Another seller touted a red fox for 2,000 yuan.
The fennec fox is not a native species of China. It was listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species in 2015, and it is prohibited to buy or sell the animal without authorization, the report said.
One officer from the Wildlife Conservation Division of the Forestry Bureau in Sichuan Province said fennec foxes are a class II protected species in China, and that trading must go through a series of procedures in order to qualify.
In addition, the red fox, an important protected animal in China, also appears on lists of terrestrial wildlife under state protection, which means they have economic or scientific value, according to the report.