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Chinese villager jailed for eating tiger

Stiff sentence for shooting last wild Indochinese cat

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A Chinese villager has been jailed for 12 years for shooting and eating the country's last known wild Indochinese tiger, China Daily reports.

Kang Wannian and Gao Zuqiao, from Mengla, Yunnan Province, encountered the animal in February while gathering freshwater mussels in a nature reserve near China's border with Laos.

Kang claimed he shot the cat in self-defence, but the local court ruled he "did not need a gun" to gather mussels, and slapped him with ten years for the killing and two years for "illegal possession of firearms". He was also fined 100,000 yuan (£9,100) and "ordered to compensate the state for an economic loss of 480,000 yuan" (£43,800).

Gao, who helped Kang cut up the carcass, and four villagers who shared the feline meal were sentenced to between three and four years for "covering up and concealing criminal gains".

The endangered Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) is now represented by an estimated 1,000 individuals in Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam. The slaughtered Chinese specimen was photographed back in 2007 in the same reserve where it met its fate. China Daily has the picture here. ®

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