Wildlife Traffickers Detained in Xi’an

Five suspects were caught with more than 1,400 wild animal corpses recently in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

The dead animals, packed in five containers, were classified by provincial authorities as illegal kills.

The animals had been loaded in the containers on Sunday afternoon and were scheduled to be shipped to Jilin Province in northeast China later this week.

The catch is the largest wild animal trafficking case found in the province in a decade, according to Zhou Xiping, an official with the Forestry Department of Shaanxi Province.

“All of the suspects had credentials provided by some local authorities,” said Zhou Lingguo, director of the provincial wild animal protection office.

“But the credentials proved to be invalid,” said the director.

Gong Jiying, a native of northwest China’s Gansu Province, claimed that he is the owner of one of the containers.

“My ‘cargo’ will be sent to Jilin Province for Koreans there,” said Gong.

The remaining four are still under investigation.

The five men, from Gansu and Jilin, claimed that they had no connection with each other.

The case was first discovered by Zhou Shu, a journalist, who spotted the animals being loaded.

“I saw a body of wild boar when eight men were unloading four carts into the containers at the station,” said Zhou.

At the time of the discovery, the containers had not been registered as to their contents.

The police arrived after the eight men had gone.

“We found 14 wild boars, 28 deer and nearly three tons of hares and pheasants in one of the containers,” said Wang Jie, director of the local police station.

Most of the smaller bodies were hidden in boxes marked “Apples” and “Veterinary Medicines.”

The animals were shot in the mountains in the area between Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.

The Changwu area is to be designated as a nature reserve in 2001 by the State Forestry Bureau, according to Director Zhou.

“No nationally protected animals were found among those slaughtered,” said Zhou.

But the surprisingly large volume still shocked the police and the government.

“The possibility that there is an organized gang that trafficks in wild animals is very real,” said Zhou.

(China Daily 12/19/2000)

In This Series

Four Jailed for Smuggling Macaques

200 Pieces of Ivory Seized in Four Months

14 Sentenced to Death in Smuggling Case



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