Chinese held for poaching panda 17 years ago

February 10th, 2012 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Shaan Beijing, Feb 10 (IANS) A villager in China has been charged with poaching and skinning a giant panda 17 years ago.

Zhang Chengwa, from Yangxian county in northwestern Shaanxi province, was charged with hunting protected wild animals and faces a sentence of at least eight years, the Shanghai Daily reported Friday.

Zhang was one of four villagers who killed the giant panda after hearing that someone wanted to buy a piece of panda skin for 300,000 yuan.

In February 1995, a man named He Zhengqiang gunned down a giant panda in a nearby mountain, and Zhang Chengwa helped skin the animal.

Their poaching act was reported to police by other villagers and three people were arrested. Zhang went into hiding at that time, prosecutors said.

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