Zhou Zhenglong on trial. [File photo]
Zhou Zhenglong, a farmer who forged photos of near-extinct South China tiger to claim an award in 2007, was released on April 27, 2012 after serving five years in prison in northwest Shaanxi Province.
Prison officials said Zhou never admitted his guilt and often refused to do labor work in prison, citing illness, China Business News reported.
The 58-year-old farmer was arrogant, barely spoke to anyone, and never remarked on his fake tiger photos when teased by others.
Zhou lived in the mountains in Zhenping County, Shaanxi Province. In 2007 he fabricated photos of a South China tiger, a near-extinct species last spotted in 1986, and claimed he snapped the photos in the woods near his village.
The Shaanxi forestry department confirmed the sighting of a South China tiger without sufficient proof and the news drew wide suspicion in the country.
His wife said Zhou would probably search for the extinct tiger in the mountains again after his release.