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Four Poaching Suspects Caught
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The Hoh Xil Nature Reserve Administrative Bureau arrested a group of Tibetan antelope poachers on Sunday in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The four suspects were from the autonomous region. Officials also seized two guns, 2,000 bullets, two vehicles and 24 barrels of gasoline, said Cai Ga, the bureau's director.

It was the first group of armed suspects caught this year, he said.

Officials said the poachers started from Huatugou Town in Qinghai Province on Thursday and planned to shoot Tibetan antelopes, the animals under State's first-grade protection and now are in the breeding period.

The poachers were found by the administration's patrol team on Sunday before firing any shots. They tried to escape and threw their guns and bullets, but all of the pieces were recovered by the patrol team.

Two bureau volunteers, Lu Feng from Sichuan Province and Wang Ting from Shandong Province, participated in the action against the poachers.

The bureau recruited volunteers in May to promote the protection of Tibetan antelopes.

Volunteers join the bureau's patrol teams for a one-month rotation. There will be seven groups of volunteers before the end of this year.

The first 10 volunteers have been on the patrol since May 10, but two of them were sent back a few days later because the high altitude made them ill, Cai said.

Hoh Xil Nature Reserve is 4,600 meters above sea level, with very thin air and temperatures under -10 centigrade.

The second group of 10 volunteers includes three women, journalists, police officers, company managers, lawyers, monks and clerks.

They will arrive at the reserve on Friday.

( China Daily June 4, 2002)

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