XI'AN, June 20 (Xinhua) -- A court in northwest China's Shaanxi Province upheld the verdict of two men who killed a highly endangered crested ibis and were sentenced up to 10 years in prison.
According to the intermediate people's court in Tongchuan City, the two men used a slingshot to injure a white bird in June 2016 and took it to the car. They noticed a hoop on its foot with code on it, feared they might be investigated and abandoned the bird on the side of the road.
The endangered birds were coded by forestry workers who tracked their whereabouts for conservation purposes. The bird was found dead by the city's wildlife protection station, which identified it as crested ibis, a bird once thought extinct.
The court of Yaozhou district in Tongchuan city sentenced the two men to eight and 10 years in prison respectively, and fined them 3,000 yuan (480 U.S. dollars) in December 2017 for poaching state protected wildlife. Both appealed.
The intermediate people's court in Tongchuan City upheld the original judgment on Wednesday and the rulings are final.
Crested ibis are found in China, Japan, Russia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The current population exceeds 2,800 in China, including about 1,800 in the wild. About 2,000 crested ibis live in Shaanxi. Their habitat stretches around 14,000 square kilometers.