CHINA> Regional
Chinese 'paper tiger' photographer stands trial
Updated: 2008-09-27 13:37

XI'AN -- Zhou Zhenglong, the farmer who shocked China with his fake photo of the endangered South China tiger, went on trial on Saturday in a local court in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Zhou Zhenglong, photo-faker of the endangered South China tiger, is on trial in the Xunyang County People's Court of northwest China's Shaanxi Province on Sept. 27, 2008. [Xinhua]
The Xunyang County People's Court began the trial at 8:30 am. Zhou was accused of fraud and owning guns and ammunition illegally.

Related readings:
 Shaanxi gov't: South China Tiger photos are fake
 South China Tiger snapper held on mystery charge
 South China tiger photos are fake - experts
Science magazine publishes photo of 'extinct' South China Tiger

The 54-year-old from Zhenping County claimed to have photographed the tiger with a digital camera on the afternoon of October 3 last year, and was rewarded by the Provincial Forestry Department with 20,000 yuan (US$2,915).

But doubts arose immediately on the Internet, as some netizens found an old Lunar New Year commemorative poster in which the tiger resembled that in his photo.

Police later arrested him after seizing an old tiger poster, which Zhou allegedly borrowed from a farmer in another village in September last year to produce his photos. They also found a wooden model of tiger claw, which Zhou allegedly used to fabricate a South China tiger paw print on snow.