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Villagers on trial for eating tiger in SW China
Updated: 2009-11-26 20:55

KUNMING: Six people are on trial in southwest China on charges of illegally killing and eating a tiger of an endangered species as well as for illegal possession of firearms.

Kang Wannian and Gao Zuqiao, from Dachoushui Village in Mengla County, Yunnan Province, used a hunting rifle to shoot dead an Indo-Chinese tiger at a nature reserve in February and left the area after the killing, prosecutors told the Mengla County People's Court.

Kang's wife and Gao asked five fellow villagers to the reserve the next day to dismember the tiger and take it home, where they stewed and ate it, the court heard.

Kang and Gao turned themselves into local police in June.

Kang was charged with illegal possession of guns and poaching an endangered wild animal. Gao and three other villagers were accused of concealing the tiger's carcase.

The other two villagers, a couple, were exempted from prosecution due to their confession.

Another defendant, villager Bai Zhiquan, who did not eat the tiger meat, was charged with illegal possession of firearms, which, said prosecutors, he had lent to Kang.

The Indo-Chinese tiger is under state-level protection in China.

The prosecutors are demanding compensation of 480,000 yuan (70,588 US dollars) from the defendants.

The trial opened on Wednesday, but the judges have yet to deliver a verdict.