10 arrested after panda shot dead by poachers

May 14, 2015 09:45
The pelt of the female panda was recovered by police. Photo: CCTV

Ten people have been arrested in China on suspicion of hunting a panda to sell its fur and meat, state-run CCTV reported.

Police discovered the panda's skin and 9.75 kilograms of meat in a raid in December, the report said.

Officers said the panda was shot dead by two brothers in Zhaotong, Yunnan province.

Thousands of people responded to the news on the Weibo social media site and condemned the crime, BBC News reported.

Panda poaching is extremely rare in China, where the endangered animal is seen as a national treasure.

"To the Chinese, the giant panda is more than an animal. It's a spiritual symbol. The case needs to be dealt with severely to stop any further incidents like this," one Weibo user called Gloomy Thick Eyebrows wrote.

Another user, Brilliant, said: "Deplorable! These guys are heartless."

But Cuozao Worker said: "Why don't I see as much media coverage when a man is killed?"

Last year, there were only about 1,864 pandas left in the wild, all in China, the report said.

Images posted on Weibo showed a bloodied black-and-white pelt laid out on the ground.

Photographs also showed a parcel of red meat and two long bones.

The China Daily newspaper said parts of the panda's skull and its gall bladder were also found.

Police said the panda was an adult female.

Hunting pandas can lead to a 10-year sentence. In what the Chinese government calls "grave circumstances", life imprisonment or even a death sentence can be imposed.

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