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Two arrested over Guangxi pangolin banquet

By SU ZHOU | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-12 09:53

Two men have been arrested in connection with a business banquet that served pangolin, an endangered mammal, the head of the State Forestry Administration said today.

Zhang Jianlong said an investigation was launched into the meal, which took place in 2015, shortly after images of the pangolin dish began to circulate on social media in February.

It was soon discovered the banquet had been arranged for a business delegation from Hong Kong to the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Zhang, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the National People's Congress, also commented on netizens' concerns over the health of giant panda Shulan.

Pictures online of Shulan foaming at the mouth at Lanzhou Zoo in Gansu province recently raised concern among netizens, while visitors to the animal park have also complained that its pandas look unhealthy.

The zoo has since undergone an evaluation and been deemed unsuitable for pandas, Zhang said. He added that Shulan will be returned to Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, where she was born.

The case has provided "strong evidence that there are still loopholes in our wildlife protection efforts", he said. "We will step up efforts to regulate construction, law enforcement and public education."

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